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r.   w.   hafnson 

hCr^stor)       v^ 

Ma.nchesfer  ' 

■f"  Noptbn 


See  Pages  1112. 



The  Colouring  shows  Land  above  600  feet  high. 

The    Story   of 



T.     W.     HANSON. 



F.     KING     ^     SONS     LTD..     COMMERCIAL    STREET. 



L.  W.  B., 
T.  K.  H., 

AND     THE 





This  book  has  been  written  for  the  boys  and  girls  of 
Halifax  and  district,  with  the  hope  also,  that  older 
people  may  find  it  full  of  interest. .  I  have  tried  to  keep 
it  a  purely  local  history.  It  is  not  a  new  text-book  of 
English  history,  furnished  with  local  notes. 

Halifax  has  been  particularly  fortunate  in  inspiring 
a  line  of  men  who  have  delighted  in  revealing  her  past. 
In  this  twentieth  century  we  have  had  a  band  of 
enthusiastic  antiquaries,  which  few  towns  can  rival. 
The  Transactions  of  the  Halifax  Antiquarian  Society 
have  provided  the  bulk  of  the  material  for  this  work. 
Mr.  John  Lister,  the  President,  has  always  been  very 
kind  to  me.  Mr.  H.  P.  Kendall,  who  has  taken  so  many 
of  the  photographs,  has  also  helped  in  other  ways  to 
make  the  history  more  complete.  Even  more  than  their 
skill,  do  I  value  the  comradeship  and  friendship  of  the 
members  of  our  Antiquarian  Society.  The  story  of  the 
book  itself  is  as  follows.  From  January,  1913,  to 
January,  1917,  I  contributed  a  serial  history  of  Halifax 
to  "The  Satchel,"  (the  Halifax  Schools'  newspaper). 
Towards  the  end  of  that  period,  a  sub-committee  of  the 
Head  Teachers'  Association  invited  me  to  re-publish  the 
articles  in  book  form.  I  re- wrote  the  matter,  Messrs. 
Harris,  Harwood,  and  Hawkins  read  the  manuscript,  and 
together  we  discussed  the  chapters  in  some  interesting 
meetings.  Mr.  W.  H.  Ostler,  the  Education  Secretary, 
proved  to  be  one  of  my  most  helpful  critics,  and  also 
helped  very  considerably  to  secure  the  publication  of  the 
book.      Many  years  ago,  Mr.  Ostler  said  that  what  was 


wanted  was  a  history  that  would  tell  "  how  a  half-timer 
lived  in  the  reign  of  Edward  III.,"  and  I  have  not 
altogether  forgotten  his  dictum. 

Mr.  E.  Green,  the  Borough  Librarian,  has  kindly 
compiled  the  Index.  I  would  also  thank  his  staff  for 
their  unfailing  courtesy.  I  am  indebted  to  several 
friends  for  the  illustrations.  Mr.  Arthur  Comfort  has 
taken  infinite  pains  to  please  me  with  his  sketches.  Mr. 
F.  H.  Marsden,  M.A.,  prepared  the  beautiful  map  at  the 
front  of  the  book,  and  sketched  the  drinking  trough. 
Mr.  T.  Broadbent  drew  the  end  map.  Mr.  T.  F.  Ford, 
A.KI.B.A.  has  provided  two  architectural  plates.  Mr. 
W.  B.  Trigg  allowed  me  to  use  his  sketches  of  the 
windows  of  the  Parish  Church.  Mr.  E.  Bretton  is 
responsible  for  the  heraldic  illustrations.  For  other 
blocks,  I  am  grateful  to  Mrs.  H.  R.  Oddy,  Messrs. 
E.  E.  Nicholson,  E.  Hardcastle,  S.  C.  Moore,  S.  H. 
Hamer,  E.  Marchetti,  Legh  Tolson,  and  the  "  Halifax 

The  Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  has  very  kindly 
allowed  me  to  use  their  extensive  collection  of  blocks, 
and  the  majority  of  the  illustrations  have  been  provided 
in  that  way.  Acknowledgment  is  made  to  the  various 
photographers  in  the  book.  I  am  grateful  to  many 
others  whom  I  have  not  named.  I  have  always  found 
Halifax  to  be  a  "  neighbourly "  town,  and  its  people 
ready  to  help  one  another. 

Lastly,  I  would  thank  the  staff  of  Messrs.  King's 
printing  works  for  the  interest  they  have  shown  in 
the  work. 

T.   W.   H. 



Parish  of  Halifax — On  the  Pennine  Slope — Woods.  Farms,  and  Moor — 
Townships — Open  Fields — Royds. 

Pages  9-19. 


Warrens  and  Lacys — The  Manor  of  Wakefield — Courts  held  at  Halifax — 
Halifax  Gibbet  Law. 

Pages  20-30. 


The  Parish  Church — Norman  Carving — Lewes  Priory  and  Gluny  Abbey — 
Tithes — The  Early  Rectors — The  14th  Century  Church — Elland  and  Hepton- 
stall  Chapels. 

Pages  30-38. 

The  Elland  Feud. 



Pages  38-42. 


Early  Records  of  the  Cloth  Trade — The  Flemings — The  Black  Death — 
The  Poll  Tax  of  1379 — Surnames — Sheep  Rearing— Spinning— Weaving — 
Fulling — Dyeing. 

Pages  42-53. 


The  Magna  Via — Timbered  Houses — Shibden  Hall — The  House  at  the 
Maypole — Sunny  Bank,  Greetland — Rebuilding  of  the  Parish  Church — 
Vicar  Wilkinson — The  Tower — Halifax  in  1439. 

Pages  53-78. 



The  Growth  of  Halifax  Trade — Gilds — Fairs — Ulnagers  Accounts — 
1473,  Halifax  leads  the  West  Riding  for  Cloth — Early  Halifax  Wills — Gifts  to 
the  Church — The  Chapels  of  the  Parish — Roads  and  Bridges — Clothes  and 
Furniture — Extending  the  Cultivated  Land. 

Pages  78-88. 


Archbishop  Rokeby — Wolsey  receives  the  Cardinal's  Hat — Baptism  of 
Princess  Mary — Death  of  Rokeby — Rokeby  Chapels  at  Kirk  Sandal  and 
Halifax — Dr.  Robt.  Holdsworth — Feud  between  Tempest  and  Savile — The 
Pilgrimage  of  Grace — The  Monasteries  Closed — -Dispute  about  Halifax 
Tithes — Bishop  Ferrar's  Martyrdom. 

Pages  89-102. 


Beacon  Hill — The  Puritans — Dr.  Favour — Heath  Grammar  School — 
Sir  Henry  Savile — Henry  Briggs — Camden's  visit  to  Halifax — Woollen 
Trade  in  16th  Century. 

Pages   102-113. 

•  CHAPTER    X. 

17th  Century  Houses — James  Murgatroyd — Nathaniel  Waterhouse — 
Sir  Thomas  Browne. 

Pages   113-137. 

'  CHAPTER    XI. 

Halifax  men  refuse  Knighthood — Ship  Money — Beginnings  of  the  Civil 
War — Siege  of  Bradford — Leeds  taken — Battle  of  Adwalton — Retreat  to 
Halifax — Joseph  Lister's  Adventures — Mackworth  garrisons  Halifax — 
Halifax  Refugees — Fighting  between  Heptonstall  and  Halifax — Mixenden 
Skirmish — Scots  Army  in  the  District — Plague — Capt.  Hodgson's  Adven- 
tures— Local  Royalists. 

Pages  137-163. 


John  Brearcliffe — 1651  Commission — HaUfax's  First  Member  of  Parlia- 
ment—The Parish  Church  During  the  Commonwealth — The  last  years  of 
the  Gibbet — The  Restoration  and  Act  of  Uniformity — Oliver  Heywood's 
Diaries — Archbishop  Tillotson. 

Pages  164-176. 



The  Cloth  Halls  of  London  and  Halifax — Defoe's  Visit  to  Halifax — Local 
Manufacturers  turn  from  Woollen  to  Worsted — Sam  Hill  of  Making  Place — 
Coal   Mining — Jacobite  Rebellion  of  1745. 

Pages  177-188. 

Cragg  Coiners — -John  Wesley's  Visits. 


Pages  189-199. 

The  Piece  Hall — Wool  Combing — Spinning— Weaving— Farming — Lime — 
Holmes — 18th  Century  Houses — "  Edwards  of  Halifax." 

Pages  199-215. 


The  Industrial  Revolution — The  Valleys  exalted  and  the  old  Towns 
Decay — Canals — The  Naming  of  the  Hebble — Turnpike  Roads — Twining's 
Picture  of  Calder  Vale — Inn  Yards — Stage  Coaches — Luke  Priestley's  Journey 
from  London  to  Brandy  Hole — Enclosures — Foster  the  Essayist — Scarcitv 
of  Milk — The  Great  Inventions — Steam  Engines — Bradford  outstrips  Halifax. 

Pages  215-240. 


Child  Slavery— Luddites — Peterloo— The  Reform  Act — The  Chartists— 
Wm.  Milner — Plug  Drawing — Free  Trade. 

Pages  241-257. 


Akroyd  and  Crossleys — Railways — The  Growth  of  the  Town — Sewers  and 
Water — Incorporation  of  the  Borough — Savile  Park — Wainhouse  Tower — 
F.  J.  Shields — P.  G.  Hamerton — The  People's  Park. 

Pages  258-272. 


F.  King  &  Sons  Ltd.,  Commercial  Street, 

The  .Story  of   Old    Halifax. 




This  Story  of  Old  Halifax  is  not  confined  to  the 
town  of  Halifax,  but  is  also  concerned  with  the  tract  of 
surrounding  coinitiy  that  was  formerly  known  as  the 
Parish  of  Halifax  The  ancient  parish  covered  that 
portion  of  Calder  Dale  lying  between  Todnnorden  and 
Brighouse,  with  the  tributar}''  vales  and  doughs,  and 
the  moors  and  hills  flanking  them.  The  whole  of  England 
was  divided  into  parishes,  and  the  centre  of  each  parish 
was  a  church.  Halifax  Parish  was  one  of  the  largest  in 
the  country,  and  the  rector  or  vicar  ot  tlie  parish 
churih  held  the  religious  and  spiritual  oversight  of  all 
the  people  who  lived  within  that  wide  area  of  more  than 
124  square  miles. 

The  outline  of  Halifax  Parish  is  similar  in  shape  to 
that  of  Yorksliire.  As  the  maj)  of  the  county  is  more 
familiar,  it  will  be  helpful  to  compare  the  two  outlines 
in  order  to  i^x  in  the  memory  the  bounds  of  our  ancient 
parish.  Starting  at  Halifax,  we  go  south- east  to  Brig- 
house,  the  point  where  the  river  Calder  leaves  the  parish. 
A  similar  joui-ney  from  York  would  take  us  to  Hull  and 
the  mouth  of  the  Humber.  From  Spurn  Point,  going 
north,  the  landmarks  of  the  Yorkshire  Coast  are  1^'lam- 
borough  Head,  Whitby,  and  Middlesbrough  in  the 
north-east  corner.      On  the  corresponding  boundary  of 



Halifax  Parish  is  the  beck  that  flows  through  Bailifl" 
Bridge.  Norwood  Green  clock  tower  must  stand  for 
Flamborough  Lighthouse,  Queensbury  Church  for  Whitby 
Abbey,  and  Soil  Hill  stands  at  (mr  north-eastern  corner. 
The  county  boundary  on  the  north  is  the  river  Tees,  from 
its  mouth  to  its  source  on  Mickle  Fell.  The  northern 
line  of  Halifax  Parish  is  the  range  of  hills,  dividing  the 
waters  of  Aire  and  Calder,  that  stretch  from  Soil  Hill  to 

Jackson^  Riooc 


/       "*--. 

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•    WlOOOP                   J 


* %SoilHill 








(                 ^^ 


'— ■,      ^^ 

^-^^               Halifax                t 

^^^^                 /^Houn 


\i"^           \ 







,    :\     ST*tNL*KD 







Fig.  1.— Yorkshire. 

Halifax  Parish. 

Boulsworth.  Jackson's  Ridge  in  the  north-west  is  the 
highest  land  in  the  parish,  and  Mickle  Fell  is  the 
corresponding  angle  of  Yorkshire.  Widdop  is  in  just 
such  another  out-of-the-way  corner  as  Sedbergh.  Both 
the  parish  and  the  county  march  with  Lancashire  on  the 
west.  Completing  our  beating  of  the  bounds,  we  may 
compare  the  positions  of  Stain  land  Moor  and  Fixby,  to 
the  districts  of  Sheffield  and  Doncaster. 

The  Parish  of  Halifax  is  situated  on  the  high  slopes 
of  the  Pennine  Range.     Its  people  are  living,  as  it  were, 


OM  the  slope  of  a  roof.  The  ridge  of  the  roof  is  the 
boundary  between  the  counties  of  York  and  Lancaster. 
The  Lancashire  slope  of  the  roof  dips  towards  the  west 
and  our  slope  to  the  east.  If  we  drop  off  the  eaves  of  the 
roof,  we  are  on  the  great  level  York  Plain,  which  extends 
from  the  foot  of  the  Pennines  to  the  coast.  On  the 
Lancashire  side  is  a  narrower  stretch  of  level  country 
between  the  hills  and  the  sea.  The  history  of  Halifax  is 
the  story  of  a  people  living  on  the  roof  of  a  great  house, 
while  the  kings  and  armies  making  the  history  of  England 
were  marching  along  the  level  streets  on  either  side  of 
the  Pennine  house.  Halifax  is  quite  as  near  to  London 
as  York  is,  and  both  are  in  the  direct  line  to  Scotland, 
according  to  the  map.  York  has  been  the  scene  of  many 
of  the  events  mentioned  in  English  history.  Two  of  the 
Roman  Emperors  died  in  York ;  Edward  HI.  was 
mai'ried  there  ;  Edward  IV.  was  crowned  in  the  city  after 
he  had  won  the  battle  of  Tow  ton  ;  and  Charles  I.  and 
many  other  kings  visited  York.  How  is  it  that  the  old 
kings  never  passed  through  Halifax  with  their  armies? 
The  answer  to  this  question  is  that  the  easiest  and  most 
natural  route  between  north'and  south  is  along  the  plain 
and  not  over  the  hills. 

The  Pennine  Hills  stand  up  like  an  island  in  the 
ocean,  and  from  the  earliest  times  down  to  our  own  day, 
voyagers  from  London  to  Scotland  have  gone  round  one 
side  or  the  other  of  our  hills.  The  Scotch  exj)ress  trains 
either  go  through  York  or  Crewe,  and  cyclists  who 
appi-eciate  a  level  road  follow  the  same  routes.  Halifax 
is  off  the  main  line.  In  the  middle  ages,  the  position 
meant  that  Halifax  escaped  much'  of  the  frightfulness  of 
the  civil  wars.  The  hills  to  the  north  were  also  a  barrier 
^aijist  the  incursions  of  the  Scots,  who  often  reached 


as  far  south  as  Craven.  The  break  m  the  Pennines,^ 
named  the  Aire  Gap,  guided  some  of  the  raids  as  near 
as  Otley  and  Morley,  but  there  is  no  record  of  the  Scots 
penetrating  into  Calder  Dale.  The  citizens  of  York 
were  contitiually  exposed  to  perils  of  the  sword,  there- 
fore they  maintained  a  wall  around  the  city  to  keep 
invaders  at  bay.  Halifax  never  had  any  need  of  such  a 
defence.  The  homesteads  and  small  hamlets  of  Halifax 
Parish  were  scattered  along  the  hill  sides,  as  there  was 
no  occasion  for  the  folks  to  crowd  together  as  the 
men  of  Chester  and  York  had  to  do.  For  the  same 
geographical  reasons  there  are  no  castles  in  our  district 
Pontefract  Castle  and  Sandal  Castle  hold  positions  that 
guard  the  narrowest  gap  between  tlie  Pen  nines  and  the 
marshes  that  line  the  estuary  of  the  Humber.  Skipton 
Castle  is  the  strategic  key  to  the  Aire  Gap,  and  Lancaster 
Castle  commands  the  western  route.  'J'he  district  around 
Halifax  cannot  boast  even  a  luined  abbey,  though  the 
small  priory  at  Kirklees  (which  had  only  eight  nuns  when 
it  was  closed)  is  just  outride  the  boundary  of  the  parish. 
Many  of  the  abbeys,  such  as  Fountains,  were  built  in 
places  "  titter,  to  all  appearances,  to  be  a  lair  of  wild 
beasts  than  a  home  for  men,"  but  it  almost  seems  that 
Halifax^was  too  inhospitable  a  country  even  for  monks. 

The  tourist,  finding  neither  walled  city,  castle,  ruined 
abbey  nor  ancient  battlefield  within  our  parish,  may 
judge  it  to  be  an  uninteresting  territory  from  the 
historical  standpoint.  Our  story  has  little  to  tell  about 
kings,  prelates,  nobles,  and  other  bearers  of  famous  names 
that  crowd  the  pages  of  English  histories.  Our  story  is 
principally  a  peaceful  account  of  turning  woods  and 
moorlands  into  fields,  and  of  the  development  of  the 
cloth  industry  in  this  highland  corner  of  Yorkshire.     We 


also  hope  to  trace  the  steps  by  which  Hahfax  became  the 
capital  of  this  district,  how  it  grew  into  a  large  town, 
and  how  other  places  in  Upper  Calder  Dale  have  risen 
and  how  others  have  decHned. 

Whereabouts  in  Calder  Dale  were  the  earliest  settle- 
ments planted  ?  When  this  district  was  first  occupied  and 
men  could  have  their  choice  of  hill  and  vale,  which 
situations  did  they  select  for  their  farms  and  homes  ? 

If  we  go  into  Luddenden  Dean  and  take  our  stand  at 
Jerusalem  Farm,  or  better  still,  on  the  hillside  above  it, 
we  get  a  good  view-poitit  from  which  to  study  the  opposite 
hillside.  In  the  bottom  is  the  brook.  From  the  water 
the  bank  rises  steeply  some  three  hundred  feet  and  is 
wooded  and  overgrown  with  bracken,  and  marshy  in 
places.  We  call  that  portion  of  the  hill-side  Wade  Wood. 
Above  the  wood  are  fields  and  if  we  were  walking  up  that 
bank  of  the  dean,  we  should  cross  five  or  six  fields  and 
climb  about  another  three  hundred  feet.  These  farms, 
known  as  Saltonstall,  are  very  old,  and  here,  over  six 
centuries  ago  Earl  Wairen  had  meadows  and  pastures  for 
his  cattle.  The  top  of  these  fields  is  1,000  feet  above 
sea-level.  Above  the  Saltonstall  farm-land  are  the  moors 
stretching  away  to  the  summit  of  the  hill. 

The  high  moorland  is  too  wild  and  bleak  for  cultivation. 
The  valley  bottom  is  too  steep  and  wooded  and  difiicult 
to  clear  for  farms.  The  early  settlers  lived  on  the  high 
terrace,  with  the  woods  below  and  the  moors  above  them. 
The  hill  sides  therefore  show  three  distinct  bands. 
The  lowest  section  -  the  steep  wooded  bank  of  the  stream 
The  middle  section  -  farm  land 
The  hiirhest  section  -  moorland. 

We  see  these  three  bands  in  the  Hebden  Valley  very 
distinctly.   First  there  are  the  woods  of  Hardcastle  Crags. 




Above  them  are  the  Wadsworth  farms,  and  higher  again, 
the  moors,  hi  the  Calder  Valley,  remnants  of  these  old 
divisions  can  be  traced.  For  example,  if  we  ascend  the 
northern  bank  of  the  valley  at  Brearley,  we  find  the  old 
town  of  Midgley  and  its  farms  situated  on  a  terrace 
between  Brearley  Wood  and  Midgley  Moor. 

There  are  some  few  exceptions  to  this  rule.  Mytholm- 
royd  and  Copley  are  old  settlements  on  the  floor  of  the 
Calder  Valley.  The  oldest  portion  of  the  town  of  Halifax 
is  at  the  bottom  of  the  hill,  and  P^lland  is  not  more  than 
a  hundred  feet  above  the  water  of  the  Calder.  But, 
generally  speaking,  the  whole  of  Calder  Vale  and  the 
branch  valleys  showed  these  three  aistinct  bands  of  wood, 
farm  and  moor.  That  is  the  reason  why  most  of  the  older 
hamlets  are  high  "up  on  the  hills.  Bastrick,  Sowerby, 
Norland,  Heptonstall,  lllingworth,  Soyland  and  North- 
owram  were  formerly  the  centres  of  trade  and  population. 
This  is  a  very  important  point  to  remember  and  explains 
many  things  that  otherwise  would  appear  strange  and 
obscure.  These  upland  situations  hekl  pre-eminence  until 
the  end  of  the  eighteenth  century.  We  live  in  the  Valleys 
but  our  forefathers'  homes  were  on  the  hills. 

The  vast  expanse  of  Halifax  Parish  may  be  measured 
on  a  map  or  calculated  in  tens  of  thousands  of  acres,  but 
a  better  and  more  interesting  way  of  learning  its  size  is 
to  take  a  few  long  walks  across  it  in  various  directions 
Then  you  will  know  that  the  Bastrick  man  lived  so  far 
away  from  the  farmer  of  Heptonstall  that  they  were 
strangers  rather  than  neighbours  to  one  another.  It 
was  only  natural  that  families  grouped  themselves  into 
smaller  divisions  of  the  district.  Indeed,  these  smaller 
divisions,  called  townships,  probably  •  existed  before  the 
parish  was  mapped  out. 


For  example,  take  the  old  settlements  lying  around 
the  crown  of  Bear^on  Hill.  The  most  important  were  at 
Blaithroyd,  Stoney  Royd,  Backhall,  Exley,  Ashday.  and 
Shibden  Hall,  and  a  track  connecting  them  would  make 
a  ring  that  completely  encircles  the  hill.  The  men  living 
at  these  places  were  neighbours  and  Formed  a  community 
known  as  Southowram  Township.  The  valley  bottoms 
that  separated  their  hill  from  Halifax,  Elland,  Rastrick, 
Hip})erholme,  and  Northowram  were  the  boundaries  of 
their  township.  Southowram  is  almost  an  island  and  is 
surrounded  by  the  Hebble,  Calder,  Shibden  Beck,  and  a 
small  clough  that  has  its  head  in  Shibden  Park.  The 
short  length  from  the  top  of  this  clough  t*^  Charlestown 
is  the  only  land  boundaiy.  The  ideal  township  would  be 
a  dome-shaped  island  and  Southowram  is  a  good  example. 
(It  ought  to  be  said  that  Elland  Park  Wood  was  annexed 
to  Elland  township  as  a  hunting  ground  for  Elland  Hall). 

Halifax  township  was  bounded  on  one  side  by  the 
Hebble  or  Halifax  brook,  from  Shaw  Syke  as  far  as  Birks 
Hall.  The  little  stream  that  drains  from  Haugh  Shaw 
to  Shaw  Syke  divided  Halifax  from  Skircoat,  and  the 
small  clough  at  Birks  Hall  was  the  boundary  with 
Ovenden.  At  High  Road  Well  Moor  was  the  line  between 
Halifax  and  Warley.  Most  of  the  houses  in  Halifax 
township  were  near  the  brook  and  not  high  up  the  hill- 
side as  in  most  of  the  townships.  The  rivers  and  brooks 
formed  the  boundaries  of  the  townships  because  the  early 
settlers  had  no  use  for  the  low-lying  lands  and  the  valley 
bottoms  were  no-man's-lands.  The  centre  of  the  town- 
ship was  usually  a  hill. 

The  word  "  village  "  was  never  used  in  our  district. 
The  English  village,  as  a  rule,  consists  of  a  compact 
cluster  of  farm   houses  and  cottages,  with  a  church  and 



large  manor  house.  The  houses  in  our  townships  were 
scattered  along  the  hill  sides,  where  there  was  a  cluster 
of  houses,  it  was  invariably  called  a  town.  Thus  we 
have  Warley  Town  and  Sowerby  Town,  the  main  streets 
in  Northowram  and  Midgley  are  Town  Gates,  and  at 
Heptonstall  you  may  see  the  name-plate  "Top  o'  th' 

The  Townships  in  the  parish  are  : — 

Stansfield,  Heptonstall,  Wadsworth,  Midgley,  Warley, 
Ovenden,  Skircoat,  Halifax,  Northowram,  bouthowram, 
Slielf,  and  Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse  on  the  north  side 
of  the^Calder. 

Langfield,  Krringden,  Sowerby,  8oyland,  Rishworth, 
Barkisland,  Norland,  Stainland,  Elland-cum-Greetland, 
Fixby,  and  Rastrick  on  the  south  side  of  the  Calder. 

In  those  early  days,  when  Halifax,  Sowerby,  Norland, 
Elland  and  other  places  contained  very  few  houses,  the 
men  worked  on  lartre  fields  that  were  common  to  the 
township  or  hamlet.  Each  hamlet  was  like  one  farm, 
and  the  pi'oduce  of  their  fields  was  shared  among  the 
inhabitants.  The  only  relics  of  this  old  open-field  system 
are  a  few  place-names  that  still  survive.  In  Halifax 
there  were  four  or  five  of  these  large  common  fields. 
One  was  called  South  Field,  and  the  way  to  it,  South 
Field  Gate,  has  had  its  name  shortened  to  Southgate. 
There  was  also  Blackledge-ing,  and  Blackledge— parallel 
to  Horton  Street — though  it  does  not  now  bear  any 
resemblance  to  a  field,  owes  its  name  to  the  open  field. 
A  third  named  Sydell-ing  has  given  its  name  to  Seerllings 
Mount,  near  Akroyd  Place  School.  There  were  also 
Nether  Field,  stretching  down  to  the  brook,  and  the 
North  Field.  At  Wheatley  they  had  a  Dean  Field,  and 
the  white-washed  house,  Denfield,  marks  the  site.     In 


Ellaiid  there  were  the  Low  most,  Middle,  and  High  Town 
Fields,  iind  Victoria  Road  was  formerly  known  as  Town 
Field  L;>ne. 

The  men  of  the  township  or  hamlet  would  hold  a 
meeting  to  decide  what  crops  they  would  grow.  If  they 
had  three  fields,  the  first  might  he  for  rye  or  wheat,  the 
second,  oats  or  barley,  and  the  third  had  to  lie  fallow. 
They  would  also  have  a  large  meadow  for  hay.  The 
word  "ing"  means  field  or  meadow.  Outside  the  fields 
were  tlie  connnon  pastures  for  their  fiocks  and  herds,  and 
woods  where  the  pigs  fed.  The  open  field  was  divided 
into  strips  or  lands,  and  these  strips  w^ere  about  seven 
yards  wnde  and  two  hundred  yards  long.  The  length 
was  a  furrow-long,  from  which  we  derive  the  word 
"furlong."  This  was  long  before  the  days  of  standard 
measuiements,  and  a  furlong,  like  other  measures,  varied 
in  each  district.  Between  each  strip  a  length  of 
unploughed  land  was  left,  to  mark  the  ''  lands."  The 
plough  had  a  team  of  eight  oxen,  and  the  whole  field  was 
ploughed  at  one  time.  The  first  strip  was  claimed  by  the 
ploughman  ;  the  secojid  by  the  man  who  provided  the 
plougli  ;  the  next  two  strips  went  to  the  owners  of  the 
principal  paii*  of  oxen  :  next  came  the  driver's  turn  ;  and 
after  him  the  owners  of  the  otheT  oxen,  and  so  on.  The 
same  order  would  be  gone  through  several  times,  until 
the  large  field  was  ploughed  up.  Each  man's  strips  were 
scattered  up  and  down  the  field.  This  kept  the  field 
common,  for  if  a  man  had  been  allotted  the  first  four 
strips  instead  of,  say,  Nos.  1 ,  13,  29,  and  40,  he  would 
probably  have  fenced  his  strips  and  made  them  into  a 
little  field  of  his  own. 

The  boyj^  of  the  handet  had  to  take  their  turns  in 
looking  after  the  herd  of  cattle  on  the  moors,  or  the  pigs 

ROYDS.  19 

in  the  woods,  or  frightening  the  birds awa}^  fronj  the  coin. 
The  cattle  were  thin  and  long-Jegged,  the  pigs  never  grew 
80  fat  as  ours,  and  sheep  were  kept  only  for  their  wool  and 
skins.  All  the  stock  was  very  poor  compared  with  modern 
cattle  and  the  crops  also  were  far  below  our  standard. 
The  open  iiekl  method  of  farming  commenced  in  the 
earliest  times  and  continued,  in  a  fashion,  until  the  begin- 
ning of  last  centui}^. 

As  the  number  of  people  increased,  and  as  some  of  the 
men  grew  richer,  more  land  was  wanted  for  farming.  A 
new  piece  of  the  hilly  land  was  marked  out,  the  trees 
were  cut  down,  and  the  shrubs  cleared.  Rocks  were  broken 
up,  the  loose  stones  gatheied,  and  a  wall  built  up  of  these 
stones  to  fence  the  new  land.  The  land  was  "  ridded  " 
or  "rid"  of  the  trees  and  rocks  and  was  therefore  called 
a  *'  riding  "  or  *'  rode."  Just  as  boys  turn  the  word  "  coal  " 
into  "coil,"  this  word  "  rode  "  was  pronounced  "  royd." 
It  is  a  most  interesting  local  word  and  royd  is  our  own 
word  for  clearing.  You  will  readily  recall  some  place- 
names  with  this  ending — royd.  Jackroyd,  Willroyd,  and 
Waltroyd  named  from  the  men  who  lirst  cleared  them. 
Brookroyd,  the  clearing  by  the  brook,  Akroyd  or  oak 
clearing,  High  royd  or  Eroyd  (th'ee  royd),  high  clearing, 
Stoney  royd,  stony  clearing,  Murgatroyd  or  moor-gate- 
royd,  tiie  clearing  on  the  way  to  the  moor. 

The  patches  of  royd-land  fenced  and  enclosed  from  tlie 
moors  or  woods  were  called  "  closes."  In  the  old  days 
the  word  "  field  "  referred  to  the  large  open  fields.  If  we 
come  across  an  old  house  named  Field  House,  Field  Head, 
or  West  Field,  we  may  be  sure  that  one  of  the  common 
fields  once  occupied  the  site. 

The  books  and  papers,  mentioned  at  the  end  of  each  chapter,  are  recommended 
to  those  readers  who  wish  to  have  fuller  information  on  any  particular 
subject.     I  am  greatly  indebted,  myself,  to  the  various  writers. 

Local  Illustrations  of  Seebohm's  "English  Village  Community."— John 
Lister,  (Bradford  Anti«[uary.  Vol.  I). 



CHAPTER      11. 


The  earliest  written  records  about  Halifax  men  and 
local  places,  are  on  the  court-rolls  of  the  Earls  of  Warren. 
The  first  earl,  William  of  Warren,  was  one  of  the  chief 
men  among  the  Norman  invaders,  and  the  chroniclers  of 

Fig.  3.— FUANCE. 

the  time  say  he  was  remarkably  valiant.  His  original 
home  was  a  castle  on  the  river  Varenne  at  Bellencombre, 
not  far  from  Dieppe.  He  was  created  Earl  of  Surrey 
by  William  T.,  and  given  large  tracts  of  English  land. 
His  principal  castle  was  at  Lewes  in  Sussex.  Warren 
was  one  of  the  very  few  Norman  lords  who  supported 


Kufus  when  the  bulk  of  the  Norman  lords  revolted  in 
the  first  year  of  his  reign,  1088.  By  the  aid  of  the 
English,  tfie  rebels  were  defeated.  It  appears  Hkely  that 
the  Earl  Warren  received  the  manor  of  Wakefield  as  a 
reward  for  his  faithfulness.  At  the  siege  of  Pevensey 
Castle,  during  the  revolt,  the  earl  was  wounded  in  the 
leg  by  an  arrow.  He  was  carried  to  his  castle  at  Lewes, 
where  he  died  in  3  088.  The  Domesday  Book,  1086, 
states  that  the  manor  was  then  in  the  hands  of  the  King, 
William  I.  The  entry  relating  to  our  local  townships 
runs  : — "  Sowerby,  Warley,  Feslei,  Midgley,  Wadsworth, 
Crottonstall(?)  Langfield  and  Stansfield."  Students  agree 
that  tiie  word  Ftslei'  stands  for  the  township  of  Halifax. 
The  actual  grant  of  the  manor  of  Wakefield  has  been 
debated  by  many  writers,  but  we  are  I'elying  on  a 
charter  that  will  be  mentioned  in  the  next  chapter.  The 
manor  of  Wakefield  was  a  large  territory  which  embraced 
the  greater  part  of  the  parish  of  Halifax.  In  Saxon 
times  the  manor  had  belonged  to  Edward  the  Confessor. 

William,  the  second  Earl  Warren,  distinguished  him- 
self at  the  battle  of  Tencl^ebrai,  in  1106,  where  Henry  L, 
King  of  Eno;land,  attacked  his  brother,  Duke  Bobert, 
nickiiamied  Curt  hose,  llobert  Curt  hose  was  defeated 
and  surrendered  to  Earl  Warren.  It  was  about  this  time, 
the  beginnijig  of  the  twelfth  century,  that  armour-clad 
knights  began  to  display  coats-of-arms  on  their  shields 
in  order  that  friend  or  ibe  could  recognise  them.  The 
Warren  shield  is  so  simple  in  design,  that  it  was  probably 
one  of  the  earliest  coats-of-arms.  The  shield  is  divided 
into  squares,  like  a  draught  board,  with  the  squares 
coloured  gold  and  blue  alternately.  Halifax  people  know 
this  shield  because  the  Corporation  has  used  it  in  their 
coat-of-arms.     The   blue  and    gold  checkered  shield  is 


displayed  at  the  Town   Hall  and  in  the  Council  schools, 
and  our  public  bodies  decorate  their  note  paper  with  it. 

4.  — Warrkn. 

From   York  MitiMar. 

The  townships  of  Southowram,  Elland,  and  Greetland 
were  included  in  the  Honour  (which  means  a  group  of 
small  manors)  of  Pontefract  and  their  lord  of  the  manor 
was  another  great  earl,  Ilbert  de  Lacy.  Previously,  a 
Saxon  thane  named  Gamel  had  ruled  over  these  townships. 
These  JSorman  earls  did  not  come  to  live  in  our  district, 
nor  did  they  build  any  castles  in  our  parish.  Both  of 
their  Yorkshire  castles  were  situated  at  important 
strategic  points  between  the  Pennines  and  York  on  the 
great  load  to  the  north.  The  Warrens  built  Sandal 
Castle,  near  Wakefield,  and  the  Lacys  held  Pomfret 
Castle,  two  famous  strongholds  in  English  military 

Part  of  the  country  about  Halifax  had  been  devastated 
in  1068,  when  WiUiam  the  Conqueror  quelled  the 
insurrection  iu  the  north,  and  laid  waste  the  land.  In 
Domesday  Book,  Elland  and  Southowram  are  named, 
and  these  three  terrible  words  added  : — "  It  is  waste." 
The  Normans  were  great  hunters,  and  Upper  Calderdale 
provided  a  sporting  estate  for  the  Warrens,  and  the  earls 
visited  it  when  on  hunting  expeditions.  They  made  a 
park  in  Erringden  (from  Cragg  Vale  to  Callis  Woods) 
for  breeding  deer.  The  wild  boar  and  wolf  roamed  the 
hiW  sides  in  Norman  times.     Roebucks,  a  Warlev  farm, 


and  the  rocks  known  as  Buckstones  and  Wolfstones  were 
probably  so  named  in  thosa  far-off  liunting  days. 

The  lord  of  the  manor,  especially  such  a  great  man 
as  the  Earl  of  Surrey,  had  a  large  amount  of  power, 
more  than  many  a  king  has  to-day.  In  fact  one  Earl 
Warren  defied  the  King,  when  Edward  I.  ordered  the 
Treasurer  of  England  to  make  full  enquiries  about  the 
manors  and  liberties  that  were  held  of  the  king.  The 
earl  would  not  allow  the  officials  to  enter  his  domain,  nor 
to  visit  Wakefield  and  Halifax.  He  also  took  a  rusty 
sword  and  flung  it  on  the  Justice's  table.  "  This,  sirs,  is 
my  warrant,"  he  said.  "  By  the  sword  our  fathers  won 
their  lands  when  they  came  over  with  the  Conqueror, 
and  by  the  sword  we  will  keep  them."  • 

At  the  court  of  the  lord  ot  the  manor,  grants  of  land 
were  made  to  the  men  who  wanted  more  soil  to  cultivate, 
and  for  each  grant  a  fee  had  to  be  paid  to  the  lord. 
When  a  man  died,  the  court  decided  who  was  his  heir, 
and  again,  a  fine  was  due  to  the  lord.  In  some  cases  the 
lord's  permission  had  to  be  obtained  foi-  marriage,  or  for 
the  education  of  a  peasant^  son.  The  tenants  had  to 
plough  and  reap  for  the  lord,  and  to  provide  his  table 
with  chickens  and  eggs.  At  the  courts,  fines  were  imposed 
for  all  kinds  of  wrong-doing,  and  the  Wariens  had  also 
the  power  of  taking  a  man's  life  for  certain  crimes.  All 
the  corn  had  to  be  ground  at  the  manorial  mills,  and  the 
lords  also  owned  the  mills  for  the  fulling  of  cloth. 

Perhaps  the  best  way  of  finding  out  how  Halifax  people 
fared  at  the  hands  of  the  lord  of  the  manor,  will  be  to 
take  an  imaginary  peep  into  a  manor  court.  In  Halifax, 
the  court  was  held  at  the  Moot  Hall.  Moot  is  an  old 
English  word,  meaning  an  assembly  of  the  people.    Near 


the  north-west  corner  of  the  Parish  Church  there  is  an 
old  building,  now  used  as  a  joiner's  shop,  but  which  was, 
once  upon  a  time,  the  Moot  Hall.  About  the  centre  oi 
the  wall  facing  the  church,  notice  the  ancient  wooden 
post  that  supported  the  roof  of  the  old  timbered  building, 
and  which  is  a  portion  of  probably  the  oldest  house  in  the 
town.  We  will  suppose  that  the  people  of  Halifax, 
Sowerby,  &c.,  are  assembled  in  the  Moot  Hall  on  a  day 
towards  the  end  of  the  thirteenth  century.  They  would 
all  have  to  stand,  for  there  was  little  or  no  furniture 
then.  A  rough  table  and  a  plain  bench  would  serve  ibr 
the  lord's  officers,  and  the  remainder  of  the  room  would 
be  bare.  The  steward  of  the  earl  of  Warren  presides 
over  the  court.  We  will  take  for  example  the  court  held 
at  Hahfax  on  Tuesday,  July  1  7th,  1286,  described  on  the 
roll  as  the  Tuesday  before  the  Feast  of  St.  Margaret  the 
Virgin,  for  it  was  then  customary  to  reckon  dates  from 
the  church  festivals  instead  of  the  calendar  that  we  use. 
John  of  Warren,  Earl  of  Surrey,  was  lord  of  the  manor 
at  this  date.  His  only  son,  William,  had  been  killed  in 
a  tournament  at  Croydon  seven  months  previously,  and 
William's  only  son,  John,  was  quite  a  baby.  In  addition 
to  the  manor  court  for  the  transfer  of  land,  etc.,  there 
was  also  held  a  criminal  court,  called  a  Tourn.  The  king 
granted  to  some  of  his  principal  subjects  the  power 
to  hold  these  courts,  and  as  Wakefield  manor  had 
once  belonged  to  Edward  the  Confessor,  the  Warrens 
appear  to  have  received  this  power  in  the  original  grant 
of  the  manor.  In  a  seventeenth  century  deed,  belonging 
to  the  Waterhouse  Charity,  a  plot  of  land  adjoining  the 
Moot  Hall  is  called  "  Sheriff's  Tourn  Close." 

Thomas  Shepherd,  of  Holdsworth,  gives  sixpence  for 
license  to  take  four  acres  of  land  from  K,oger,  son  of  Peter. 


William  of  Saltonstall  gives  twelve  pence,  to  take  half 
an  acre  of  land  in  Sowerby  from  William,  son  of  Simon. 
Kichard,  son  of  Adam  of  Wadsworth,  gives  1 2s.  2d.  to 
inherit  his  father's  land.  Each  man  promises  to  do  the 
services  due  to  the  lord.  E-og^er  of  Haworth  is  fined 
twelve  pence  for  the  escape  of  four  cattle  in  Sakeldene 
in  the  lord's  forest,  and  William  the  Geldhird  has  to 
answer  for  hunting  a  doe.  Thomas  of  Langfield  and 
William  of  the  Booths  pay  for  the  court's  aid  in  recovering 
debts.  At  the  Tourn  held  the  same  day,  we  find  the 
following  cases.  Peter  Swerd  had  unrightfully  sto])ped 
up  a  certain  footpath  between  Stansfield  and  Mankinholes. 

By  permiission  of  JJ/n  S.  Smith,  Shi'fflfki  City  Librarian. 

Fig^  5.— Portion  of  a  Wakkfiki.d  Court  Roll, 

Halifax,  July  Irni,  1286. 

Thomas,  son  of  John  of  Greenwood  cut  the  purse  of 
William  of  Midgley  by  night  and  took  H)d.  llichard  of 
Crossley  and  Kichard  the  Tinker  had  di-awn  blood  fiora 
from  one  another  but  the  tinker  is  pardoned  because  he 
did  it  in  self-defence.  John  Styhog  stole  two  oxen  from 
Roger  Foulmouth  and  is  sent  to  York  prison.  William, 
son  of  Ivo  of  Warley,  took  two  bows  from  strangers. 
Peter  Sweid  is  fined  a  second  shilling  because  he  unjustly 
ejected  Alice  of  the  Croft  from  her  land  in  Mankinholes 
and  cast  down  her  house.  Avicia,  wife  of  Thomas  of 
Westwood,  the  wives  of  Nicholas  of  Warley,   Thomaa 


the  Spencer,  "Ralph  of  0\renden,. Robert  of  Lowe  ;  Matilda, 
wife  of  the  Fuller,  and  Agnes  of  Ashwell  are  each  fined 
sixpence  for  not  sending  for  the  ale  tasters  when  they 
had  brewed.  Cecilia  of  Hallgate  is  pardoned  and  the  wife 
of  Jolin  the  Grave  is  also  pardoned  because  she  is 
favourable  to  the  earl's  bail  ills. 

The  manor  courts  of  the  Earl  Warren  were  held  at 
Wakefield,  Kirkburton,  Brighouse  and  Hahfax.  Neither 
Brighouse  nor  Halifax  are  neai'  the  geographical  centre 
of  Halifax  Parish.  At  this  time  nlso,  Halifax  was  one 
of  the  least  important  of  the  townships.  Towards  a  tax 
levied  in  1284,  Hipperholme  paid  the  largest  sum,  20/-. 
Halifax's  share,  11/-,  was  the  thirteenth  on  the  list  of 
nineteen  townships.  In  1315,  six  of  the  townships  were 
fined  for  concealing  the  absence  ot  men  summoned  to  the 
tourn.  Halifax  township  was  fined  3/4,  Wt  forgiven 
because  it  was  poor. 

W^e  may  infer  that  the  Steward  of  Wakefield  would 
not  venture  any  farther  into  the  wilds  than  Brighouse 
and  Halifax,  and  because  Halifax  was  nearer  to  Wake- 
field by  the  old  roads  than  the  other  townships,  our 
town  became  the  capital  of  the  district.  The  records  of 
the  Wakefield  Manor  Court  are  kept  in  the  Rolls  OfBce 
at  Wakefield.  The  earliest  court  rolls  have  perished, 
but  there  are  some  that  are  over  six  hundred  years  old. 
The  early  rolls  are  made  of  skins  stitched  together,  thirty 
or  forty  feet  long,  and  rolled  up  like  a  piece  of  wall-paper. 
Later  rolls  are  in  five  feet  lengths,  made  f  loin  about  a  dozen 
skms.  These  large  skins  are  stitched  together  like  the 
leaves  ot  a  book  and  the  whole  rolled  up.  The  entries  are 
written  in  Latin  and  can  still  be  read,  and  parts  of  the 
rolls  have  been  copied,  translated  and  printed. 


As  time  went  on,  the  services  due  to  the  lord  from 
his  tenants  were  not  paid  in  actual  labour,  but  money 
was  given  as  rent  in  place  of  work.  This  great  change 
took  place  earlier  in  the  large  Wakefield  manor  than  in 
smaller  manors.  It  was  very  inconvenient  for  the  men 
of  lUingworth  or  Norland  to  journey  to  Wakefield  to 
work  on  the  lord's  home  farm  for  a  day  or  so.  On  the 
other  hand,  the  earls  had  more  labour  than  they  needed. 
It  suited  both  parties  to  transform  the  services  into  a 
sum  of  money.  This  arrangement  gave  more  freedom  to 
the  men  of  Halifax  parish.  So  long  as  they  paid  their 
rents  they  were  at  liberty  to  employ  their  time  as  they 
thoucrht  best,  and  were  not  at  the  beck  and  call  of  their 
lord.  The  tenants  of  the  Warrens  had  to  follow  him  to 
war,  but  we  know  very  little  as  to  how  many  from  this 
district  went  with  the  earls  on  the  Scottish  campaigns. 
Richard  of  Exley  was  at  Dunfermline  with  Edward  I.  in 
1303,  when  William  Wallace  was  defeated.  Richard 
had  killed  William  of  Ashday,  and  he  received  a  royal 
pardon  for  the  murder  because  of  his  distinguished 
conduct  as  a  soldier. 

The  manor  of  Wakefield  was  gradually  split  up  into 
small  manors.  These  smaller  manors,  in  most  cases, 
comprised  a  township.  There  was  a  manor  court  of 
Ovenden  held  at  Lee  Bridge;  at  Hipperholme,  the  men 
met  under  a  thorn  tree.  Some  local  houses  and  lands 
were  given  to  the  order  of  Knights  of  St.  John  of 
Jerusalem,  who  helped  and  sheltered  pilgrims  to  the 
Holy  land.  Tenants  of  these  lands  were  not  obliged  to 
grind  their  corn  at  the  lord's  mill,  nor  to  do  suit  at  his 
court.  These  privileges  continued  even  after  the  order 
of  St.  John  had  been  suppressed.  Many  of  these  old 
houses  still  display  the  double  cross  of  the  knights,  as. 


for   instance,    Field    House   Shibden,    Coley    Hall   and 
Holdsvvoitb  House. 

The  Wariens,  like  some  other  great  Norman  lords, 
had  the  royalty — as  it  was  named — gianted  by  the  king, 
to  execute  thieves  and  other  criminals  who  were  caught 
within  the  bounds  of  their  manor.  From  this  grant  the 
Halifax  gibbet  law  grew  and  the  custom  survived  in 
Halifax  long  after  the  royalty  of  the  Warrens  had  become 
obsolete.  Tradition  says  that  the  harsh  law  was  continued 
in  order  to  protect  the  cloth  trade,  for  it  was  so  easy  to 
steal  the  kerseys  i'rom  the  tenter-frames.  A  jury  was 
formed  of  sixteen  men.  If  they  found  that  the  prisoner 
was  caught  with  the  stolen  goods  in  his  possession,  or  if 
he  confessed  to  the  theft,  and  if  the  stolen  goods  were 
valued  at  thirteen  pence  or  more,  the  culprit  was  sentenced 
by  this  local  jury  to  be  beheaded.  Under  the  feudal 
system,  there  were  no  paid  officials  of  the  manor  courts, 
to  correspond  wilh  our  modern  policemen  or  sheriffs' 
officers,  but  each  tenant,  in  turn,  had  to  serve  in  the 
various  duties.  There  was  not  much  difficulty  in  persuading 
a  jury  to  sentence  a  man  to  death,  for  human  life  was  oi 
small  value  in  those  days.  The  difficulty  arose  in  finding 
a  hangman.  When  the  population  amounted  to  no  more 
than  a  few  score  people,  no  man  cared  to  be  branded  as 
the  hangman  among  his  neighbours. 

An  old  story,  told  by  Thomas  Deloney  in  the 
sixteenth  century,  relates  how  Hodgekins,  a  Halifax 
clothier,  caught  Wallis  and  two  more  thieves,  and  brought 
them  to  the  gallows.  Hodgekins  chose  one  of  his 
neighbours,  a  very  poor  man,  to  play  the  hangman^a 
part,  but  he  would  not  by  any  means  do  it,  tiiough  he 
would  have  been  well  paid.  Then  one,  whose  cloth  liad 
been  stolen,  was  commanded  to  act,  but  in  like  manner 


he  wo'uld  not,  saying  :  "  When  I  have  the  skill  to  make 
a  man,  I  will  hang  a  man,  if  it  chance  my  workmanship 
does  not  suit  me."  And  thus  from  one  to  another  the 
post  was  offered  and  refused.  At  last  a  rogue  came  by 
whom  they  would  have  compelled  to  have  done  the  deed. 
'*  Nay,  my  masters,  not  so"  said  he,  *'  You  cannot  compel 
me."  Then  one  proposed  that  Hodgekins  himself,  who 
had  most  loss,  should  take  the  office.  "  No,  not  I,"  quoth 
Hodgekins,  "  though  my  loss  were  ten  times  greater  than 
it  is."  At  last,  liberty  was  promised  to  the  thief  who 
would  hang  the  others,  but  as  they  were  loyal  to  each 
other,  they  had  to  be  released,  and  thus  they  escaped 
the  death  penalty.  A  gray  friar  came  upon  Hodgekins 
while  he  was  in  the  dumps  over  this  business,  and  he 
said  that,  with  the  help  of  a  carpenter,  he  would  make  a 
gin  that  would  cut  off  their  heads  without  man's  help. 
Hodgekins  went  up  to  court  and  told  tlie  king  that  the 
privilege  of  Halifax  for  hanging  thieves  Wcis  not  worth 
a  pudding  because  they  could  not  get  a  hangman  to  truss 
the  thieves.  However,  a  friar  had  invented  a  machine 
that  dispensed  with  the  hangman,  and  his  majesty  allowed 
Halifax  men  to  use  the  new  gibbet. 

Although  the  story  is  not  literally  true,  there  is  an 
element  of  truth  embodied  in  it.  In  other  parts  of  England 
all  kinds  of  dodges  were  tried  to  g^t  over  the  difficulty  of 
finding  a  hangman.  At  Romney,  the  bailiff  found  the 
gallows  and  rope,  while  the  proseCvitor  had  to  find  the 
hangman.  If  he  could  not  find  one.  and  if  he  would  not  do 
that  same  office  himself,  he  was  put  in  prison  with  the  felon 
and  kept  there  until  he  was  prepared  to  hang  the 
condemned  man.  The  Halifax  gibbet  did  not  need  a 
hangman.  All  that  was  necessary  was  to  pull  out  the 
pin  that  held  the  axe  aloft.    Then  it  slid  down  the  grooves 


of  the  tall  posts,  on  to  the  culprit's  neck.  If  it  was  ^  case 
of  stealing  a  horse  or  a  sheep,  the  animal  was  yoked  to 
the  pin  and  set  the  axe  in  motion. 

Warren  and  Lacy  in  the  *•  Dictionary  of  National  Biography." 

"The  Making  of  Halifax"— John  Lister  in  H.  Ling  lioth's  "York»liire 
Coiners  and  Old  Halifax." 

Wakefield  Court  KoU?",  I,  H,  III  in  Yorkshire  Archaeological  Society  Record 

"Halifax   Gibbet   Law" — JoHN   LrsTER  in    Halifax    Anti(iuarian    Society 
Transactions,   1910. 

CHAPTER    111. 



If  we  enter  the  Parish  Church  by  the  south  porch  and 
walk  across  the  church  to  the  opposite  door,  we  notice 
that  the  north  wall  is  built  of  rough  stones  of  all  shapes 
and  sizes.  Among  this  rubble  there  is  one  small  stone 
that  has  an  interesting  story  to  tell.  You  will  find  it  at 
the  left  hand  lower  corner  of  the  western  window.  The 
stone  is  carved  with  zig-zag  or  herring-bone  lines,  called 
a  chevron  pattern.  Soldiers'  stripes  are  chevrons.  The 
style  of  the  carving  indicates  that  it  was  chiselled  in  the 
twelfth  century.  Therefore,  we  know  that  before  this 
wall  was  built,  a  smaller  Norman  church  was  pulled 
down  and  this  particular  stone,  out  of  the  older  church, 
was  picked  up  and  used  by  the  masons  who  built  this 
wall.  There  are  a  few  more  similar  chevron  stones 
scattered  about  the  walls  of  the  present  church.  Frag- 
ments of  a  plain  moulding  of  the  same  date  appear  in  the 
upper  part  of  the  north  wall. 



W«  will  dip  a  little  further  back  into  the  dim  past, 
before  we   take   up   the   story   of    the  Norman    church. 

ff^flCnnEinroF  n^i^/naK  Work 

P»V]L-r^j^AP  ih(mo»<^ 

Fig.  6.— Chevron  Sponr  and  15th  Century  Capitals. 

Because  a  portion  of  Halifax  tithes  was  paid  to  the  vicar 
of  Dewsbury,  we  may  certainly  say  that  our  district  was 


once  part  of  the  ancient  Saxon  parish  of  Dewsbury,  and 
presume  that  the  gospel  was  preached  among  our  hills 
before  any  church  was  erected  here. 

The  first  mention  of  Halifax  Church  is  to  be  found  m 
documents  relating  to  a  gift  made  by  Earl  Warren  to  the 
Priory  of  Lewes  of  several  Yorkshire  churches,  including 
Halifax  church.  Mr.  Lister  has  discovered  a  copy  of  a 
charter  that  recites  the  original  grant.  It  appears  that 
when  the  priory  church  at  Lewes  was  dedicated  (about 
1095)  the  second  earl  confirmed  this  gilt  of  Yorkshire 
churches.  Hence,  we  know  that  Hahfax  church  was 
granted  between  1086  and  1095.  Documents  at  that 
time  were  not  dated  but  the  names  of  the  witnesses  also 
help  to  fix  these  dates.  The  second  earl  again  confirmed 
the  gift  about  the  year  1116. 

The  Priory  of  St.  Pan  eras  at  Lewes,  in  Sussex,  was 
the  first  settlement  in  England  of  the  black-robed  monks 
of  Cluny.  The  first  Earl  Warren  and  his  wife  had  intended 
to  make  a  pilgrimage  to  E,ome  but,  owing  to  the  war 
between  the  Pope  and  Emperor,  they  had  to  be  content 
with  visiting  some  of  the  monasteries  of  France,  and  they 
made  a  long  stay  at  the  Abbey  of  Cluny,  near  the  Swiss 
border.  Some  time  later  the  earl  was  crossing  the  Channel 
in  one  of  the  small  vessels  of  those  days,  wlien  a  storm 
arose  and  the  boat  was  in  great  peril.  Earl  Warren  vowed 
that  if  they  were  brought  safely  to  land  he  would  found 
an  abbey.  In  fulfilment  of  his  vow,  he  invited  the  monks 
of  Cluny  to  come  to  Lewes  and,  in  1077,  a  prior  and 
twelve  monks  made  their  home  there.  The  earl  further 
enriched  the  Piiory  of  Lewes  by  the  gift  of  Yorkshire 
churches.  The  monks  also  received,  out  of  the  manor  of 
Wakefield,  the  manors  of  Halifax  and  Heptonstall.  The 
rents  and  fines  connected  with  the  land  of  Halifax  and 

Halifax  parish  church.  33 

Heptonstall  were  to  be  paid  to  the  prior  instead  of  to  the 
lord  of  the  manor  of  Wakefield.  The  prior  now  held  a 
little  manor  court  for  Halifax  and  Heptonstall,  but  the 
Warrens  still  held  courts  for  the  tbrest-law  cases  and  what 
we  should  call  "police-court  cases." 

In  addition  to  the  manorial  rents  of  Halifax  and 
Heptonstall  townships,  the  church  had  its  revenue  from 
tithes  or  tenths.  Every  farmer  in  the  wide  parish  of 
Halifax  had  to  give  to  the  church  one  stone  of  wool  out 
of  eveiy  ten  stones  he  clipped  ;  one  lamb  out  of  ten ;  one 
calf  out  of  ten  ;  and  a  tenth  of  his  com  and  hay  or  any 
other  produce.  The  account  books  of  the  monks  tell  us 
of  three  women  carrying  the  tithe  wool  from  Heptonstall 
to  Halifax.  The  Elland  wool,  in  13(57,  needed  seven 
women,  and  they  received  ttmpence  and  four  pennyworth 
©f  ale  to  share  among  the  seven  for  carrying  it.  For  a 
long  time  there  was  only  the  one  church  to  se*'ve  the 
vast  parish,  and  everyone  was  baptised  or  married,  or 
buried  at  Halifax  church.  When  the  special  chui-ch 
services  or  festivals  were  held,  the  accommodation  of  the 
little  town  would  be  taxed.'  The  church  is  dedicated  to 
St.  John  the  Baptist,  whose  festival  day  is  on  Midsummer 
day.  All  the  people  had  to  attend  church  on  that  day, 
and  because  of  the  throng  in  the  streets,  hawkers  and 
vendors  of  various  things  came,  and  in  that  way  Halifax 
fair  came  to  be  on  June  24th.  There  is  a  legend  the 
word  Halifax  means  Holy  Face,  and  that  a  portion  of 
the  face  of  the  i^aptist  was  preseived  as  a  relic  in 
Halifax  church.  The  borough  coat-of-arms  was  designed 
from  this  idea.  There  is  no  truth  in  the  story,  for  had 
there  been  so  important  a  relic,  pilgrims  from  all  over 
the  world  woukl  have  found  their  way  to  Halifax,  and 
some  of  the  old  chroniclers  would  have  mentioned  the  fact. 


To  return  to  the  chevron  stone —when  the  monks 
received  Halifax  church,  over  eight  hundred  years  ago, 
they  commenced  to  huild  a  small  Norman  church,  of 
which  these  few  stones  remain.  Some  of  the  early  rectors 
of  Halifax  were  famous  men,  or  it  would  be  more  correct 
to  say  that  the  fees  from  the  parish  in  the  twelfth  and 
thirteenth  centuries  went  into  the  pockets  of  some  great 
men.  For,  although  the  Warrens  had  given  Halifax 
church  to  the  Prior  of  Lewes,  they  continued  to  put  their 
own  friends  in  the  rectory.  These  rectors  drew  the  rents 
and  fees,  but  scarcely  ever  came  near  Halifax  to  attend 
to  the  work.  As  the  monks  themselves  said,  these  men 
had  more  care  for  the  fleeces  and  milk  of  the  flock  than 
for  souls.  The  earls  were  so  powerful  that  the  monks  for 
a  long  time  were  unable  to  resist  these  appointments. 

John  Talvace,  brother  to  the  wife  of  the  third  Earl 
Warren,  "  a  pleasant  man,  generous  and  very  learned," 
seems  to  have  been  one  of  the  early  rectors.  He  also 
held  the  high  position  of  treasurer  of  York  Minster  from 
1154  to  1 163,  and  afterwards  became  Bishop  of  Poitiers 
and  Archbishop  of  Lyons.  Talvace  was  an  old  friend  of 
Thomas  a  Becket,  and  in  a  letter  to  Becket,  he  advises 
**  content  yourself  with  a  moderate  establishment  of  horses 
and  men,  such  as  your  necessities  require."  He  said  he 
had  often  warned  Becket  "  to  consider  the  badness  of  the 
times,  which  promise  you  neither  a  speedy  return  nor  a 
safe  one."  The  great  Hubert  Walters  also  held  the  rectory 
of  Halifax.  He  went  with  liichard  Coeur  de  Lion  on  the 
crusade,  and  when  Kichard  was  taken  prisoner,  Walters 
brought  the  English  army  home  and  raised  the  ransom 
for  the  king.  He  became  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  and 
a  very  famous  statesman.  It  would  be  about  the  year 
1185  when  he  became  connected  with  Halifax,  and  he 


wrote  a  letter  thanking  the  Prior  of  Lewes  for  having 
appointed  him  to  the  unknown  or  obscure  church  of 
Halifax.  We  cannot  think  that  Hubert  Walters  ever 
visited  this  obscure  corner  of  England. 

The  last  of  the  rectors  was  William  de  Champ  vent, 
a  man  who  probably  could  not  speak  a  word  of  English, 
but  he  certainly  did  visit  Halifax  a  few  times.  However, 
the  monks  obtained  a  bull  from  Pope  Alexander  IV, 
forbidding  the  practice  of  appointing  these  absentee 
rectors.  Champvent  held  the  living  for  another  seventeen 
years  until,  in  1 273,  he  was  preferred  to  the  bishopric  of 
Lausanne  in  Switzerland.  The  following  year,  Halifax 
received  her  first  vicar  and  there  were  great  rejoicings  in 
the  church.  High  Mass  was  celebrated  by  the  Vicar- 
General  of  the  Archbishop  of  York,  assisted  by  the  rectors 
of  Thornhill,  Birstall  and  Heaton,  three  of  the  black-robed 
monks  of  Lewes,  and  others,  including  Ingelard  Turbard, 
the  new  vicar.  He  had  to  promise  to  reside  in  Halifax 
and  land  vras  given  on  which  to  build  a  manse  for  him. 
The  tithes  were  divided,  and  in  1292,  the  monks  of  Lewes 
took  £93  6s.  8d.  and  the  vicar's  share  was  £16.  Ingelard 
Turbard  was  vicar  of  Halifax  for  over  forty  years,  for  the 
Wakefield  Court  liolls  inform  us  that  he  died  in  13  I  6. 

Towards  the  latter  end  of  Turbard's  days,  there  was 
a  re  building  of  the  church.  In  order  to  see  the  part 
that  commemorates  that  epoch,  in  Halifax  church  history, 
when  the  first  vicar  resided  here,  you  must  go  round  the 
outside  of  the  church  to  look  at  the  north  wall.  To  the 
east  of  the  north  porch  is  a  length  of  rough  walling.  If 
you  will  look  at  the  wall  for  a  few  minutes,  you  may  find 
out  how  it  was  built.  The  rough  stones  were  heaped  on 
the  ground  and  then  were  more  or  less  sorted  into  sizes. 
The  masons  used  the  larger  pieces  first  and  the  smaller 



Pig.  7.— Window  (about  1300)  in  North  Wai-l  of  Parish  Church. 

THE   14th  century  CHURCH.  37 

stones  were  left  for  the  upper  part  of  the  wall  as  they 
wertj  easier  to  lift.  There  are  two  lancet  whidows  in  this 
wall,  that  are  smaller  and  simpler  in  design  ihan  the  other 
windows  of  the  church.  A  third  window  of  the  same  style 
is  on  the  west  side  of  tlie  porch.  It  is  set  in  a  later  wail 
and  this  window  probably  faced  west  originally.  When 
the  church  was  extended  westward,  it  would  be  taken 
out  and  re-erected  in  the  extended  north  wall.  It  is  most 
intei'esling  to  trace  the  growth  of  an  old  church  like 
Halifax,  but  we  are  obliged  to  defer  the  story  of  its  further 
growth  to  a  later  chapter. 

We  do  not  know  the  exact  date  of  the  erection^of 
Elland  and  Heptonstall  chapels.  Some  Norman  "beak" 
stones  have  been  used  in  the  later  chancel  arch  at  Elland. 
We  can  easily  imagine  that  the  parish  was  too  large  to  be 
efticiently  served  by  priests  living  in  Halifax  and  we  can 
surmise  the  reason  why  Heptonstall  and  Elland  were 
chosen,  and  chapels  elected  there  for  assistant  priests. 
Heptonstall  would  serve  the  western  end  of  the  parish 
an(l  the  township  belonged  to  the  monks  ot  Lewes. 
Elland,  though  not  a  long  way  from  Halifax,  was 
outsidi3  the  manor  of  Wakefield,  and  the  lords  of 
Elland  would  prefer  a  chapel  for  their  own  tenants.  The 
vicar  ol  Halifax  appointed  and  paid  these  priests,  and 
even  to-day  the  vicar  of  Halifax  still  makes  the  old 
grant  of  £4  per  year.  The  two  chapels  did  not  possess 
the  privileges  of  a  church  like  Halifax  and  for  very  many 
centuries,  the  vicar  of  Halifax  was  the  spiritual  head  of 
the  whole  parish.  The  connection  between  the  Priory  of 
Lewes  and  Halifax  lasted  until  the  Reformation,  or  over 
four  hundred  years.  In  those  early  days  the  south  of 
pjigland  was  much  more  advanced  than  the  north,  and 
the  priests  sent  by  the  prior  would  probably  teach  the 


people  inuny  things  and  help  to  widen  their  ideas  about 
the  great  world  outside  the  parish. 

•*  Halifax  Parish  Church — An  Early  Chapter  of  Its  History," — John  LlSTBR, 
(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  1905) 



The  great  Norman  barons  often  quarrelled  among 
themselves  and  armed  their  men  to  fight  one  another. 
The  story  of  the  Elland  Feud  is  interesting  because  it 
shows  how  these  quarrels  affected  the  men  who  were 
tenants  of  these  lords.  The  tale  has  been  handed  down 
in  a  ballad,  the  verses  being  sung  at  Christmas  time.  Its 
appropriate  title  is  "Revenge  upon  Revenge."  Within 
recent  years,  entries  on  the  Wakefield  Court  Rolls,  con- 
firming the  truth  of  the  ballad,  have  been  discovered. 
The  tragedies  commenced  with  the  enmity  between  the 
great  lords  of  Wakefield  and  Pontefract.  The  Earl  of 
Warren  of  this  time  was  a  great  friend  of  Edward  II. 
Tlioraas  Lacy,  Earl  of  Lancaster,  was  the  leader  of  the 
barons  who  put  to  death  Gaveston,  the  kind's  favourita 
Afterwards,  the  Earl  of  Lancaster  rebelled  agjainst  the 
king,  and  was  himself  beheaded.  On  the  Monday  before 
Ascension  day,  1317,  Alice  de  Lacy,  wife  of  the  Earl  of 
Lancaster,  was  kidnapped  by  Earl  Warren's  men,  at 
Canford  in  Dorset,  and  taken  to  one  of  the  castles  of  the 
Wa/rens.  The  Lacys  laid  siege  to  the  Yorkshire  castles 
of  Earl  Warren.  In  the  fighting,  Exley  of  Exley  Hall, 
Siddal,  killed  a  nephew  of  Sir  John  Elland.  Though 
Exley  gave  a  piece  of  land  as  compensation  for  the  man's 
death,  Sir  John  w  ould  not  forgive  the  deed,  so  P]xley  fled 



to  Ciosland  Hall,  near  Huddersfield,  where  Sir  Robert 
Beaumont,  hi^  kinsman,  lived. 

Sir  John's  home,  Elland  Hall,  is  on  the  north  side  of 
the  Calder,  overlooking  Elland  Bridge.  The  house  has 
been  re-built  several  times  during  the  six  hundred  years, 
but  some  windows  of  the  seventeenth  century  can  still  be 
seen.  The  Ellands  had  acquired  the  manor  of  Elland 
from  the  Lacys,  in  the  thirteenth  century  and  Sir  John 
Elland  was  Hio:h  Steward  to  Earl  Warren.   A  well-armed 

Pig.  8.— Elland. 



*\f  Cromwell  Bottom. 

band  of  Elland  men  was  raised,  and  Sir  John  set  out  one 
night  with  the  intention  of  killing  Sir  Bobeit  Bea.umont. 
On  their  way  to  Ciosland  Hall,  the  Elland  men  came  to 
Quarmby  Hall  and  entering  the  house  in  the  dead  of 
night,  they  slew  Hugh  of  Quarmby.  fcir  John  next  led 
his  men  to  Lock  wood  and  killed  Lock  wood  of  Lockwood. 
Quarmby  and  Lockwood  were  ruthlessly  slaughtered 
because  they  were  friends  of  Beaumont.  When  they 
arrived  at  Crosland  Hall,  the  Elland  men  found  the  moat 
full  of  water  and  the  drawbridge  up,  so  they  waited,  in 
ambush,  for  the  morn.  A  maid-servant  of  the  house  had 
an  errand  early  the  next  morning,  and  when  the  bridge  was 
lowered,  Elland's  men  rushed  in.     Sir  Robert  Beaumont 


was  in  bed,  but  unarmed  he  fought  manfully,  and  his 
servants  strove  with  miglit  and  raani  until  tliey  were 
overpowered.  Sir  llobert  was  dratrged  downstairs  into 
the  hall  and  there  they  cut  off  his  head.  Many  of  his 
faithful  men  and  Exiey  also,  were  killed  without  mercy. 
Sir  John  El  land  made  a  feast  for  his  men  in  Crosland 
Hall  and  invited  Beaumont's  two  sons  to  eat  with  him, 
but  Adam  Beaumont,  though  but  a  boy,  sturdily  refused. 

**  The  first  fray  here  now  have  ye  heard, 
J  he  secoTici  siiall  en -lie, 
And  hi.w  niiuh  iiti>chief  afterward, 
Upou  the»e  nmrders  grew." 

Lady  Beaumont  took  her  two  sons  into  Lancasiiire  for 
safety,  wheie  they  were  joined  by  young  Lockwood  and 
Qunrmby  and  Lacy  of  Cromwell-bottom.  They  lived  at 
Brereton  Hall  and  Tovvnley,  Jiear  Burnley,  trainiDg 
themselves  in  fencing,  tilting,  liding,  and  shooting  with 
the  long-bow.  'i  hey  were  determined  to  take  revenge  on 
Sir  John  Elland,  and  as  these  fatherless  lads  grew  into 
men,  they  discussed  many  plans  how  to  attain  tlieir 
desire.  They  decidf^d  to  fall  upon  Sir  John  Elland  on  the 
day  that  he  attended  the  Sheriff's  Tourn  at  Brighouse, 
He  never  failed  to  ])reside  over  that  conrt,  and  as  the  loads 
would  be  busy  with  men  on  their  way  to  Biighouse,  the 
men  from  Lancashire  would  not  be  so  noticeable.  The 
four  youths  with  their  followei's,  hid  in  Cromwell-bottom 
Wood  and  sent  spies  into  Bnghouse  to  give  warning  of 
Sir  John's  return.  The  old  road  from  Biioliouse  to  Elland 
Hall  went  uj)  to  Lane  Head,  then  down  to  Brookfbot.  and 
up  again  through  Cromwell-bottom  Wood.  Signal  wa8 
given  of  the  knight's  approach  and  his  enemies  set  out  to 
meet  him,  and  the  fight  took  place  at  Lane  Head.  Sir 
John  aiid  his  men  were  armed  and  fought  for  their  lives. 


•'  They  cut  him  from  his  company 
Belike  at  the  Lane  end  ; 
And  there  they  slew  him  certainly 
And  there  he  made  his  end." 

Sir  John  Elland  was  killed  in  the  year  1353.  Beaumont 
and  his  friends  fled  the  same  night  and  sought  a  safe 
hiding-place  in  Furness. 

Early  in  the  next  spring,  they  came  back  to  Cromwell- 
bottom  to  plan  the  death  of  young  Sir  John  Elland  and 
his  boy.  On  the  eve  of  Palm  Sunday,  Beaumont,  Lacy, 
Lock  wood,  and  Quarmby  broke  into  Elland  Mill  and  lay 
there  in  ambush.  Early  on  the  Sunday  morning,  the 
miller  sent  his  wife  to  the  mill  to  fetch  some  corn.  They 
bound  her  hand  and  foot,  and  laid  her  in  a  safe  place, 
so  that  she  could  not  raise  an  alarm.  The  miller  was 
angry  when  his  wife  did  not  return,  so  he  took  a  cudgel 
to  chastise  her  for  her  delay.  The  miller  was  also  caught 
and  laid  by  his  wife's  side.  Sir  John  had  heard  rumours 
t/hat  his  enemies  were  abroad  and  on  that  Sunday  morning 
he  told  his  fears  to  his  wife.  She  took  little  notice  of  the 
reports  and  said  "It  is  Palm  Sunday,  and  we  must 
certainly  go  to  church  and  serve  God,  this  holy  day."  Sir 
John  Elland,  for  safety,  put  (m  a  coat  of  armour  under 
his  suit  and  with  his  lady,  his  son  and  some  of  his  people 
set  out  for  church.  Perhaps  there  was  no  bridge  at  this 
time,  for  they  crossed  the  river  by  the  dam-stones  of  the 
mill.  Adam  Beaumont  stepped  out  of  the  mill,  with  his 
long-bow,  notched  his  arrow  to  the  string,  and  shot  at  the 
knight.  It  struck  his  breast,  glancing  off  the  armour. 
Lockwood's  first  arrow  did  the  same  but  his  second  shot 
struck  Sir  John  Elland  in  the  head  and  he  fell  dead  in 
the  river.  One  of  the  other  bowmen  mortally  wounded 
his  son  and  heir,  and  the  servants  carried  the  boy  home 
to  die  at  Elland  Hall. 


Beaumont  and  his  friends  left  the  mill  and  hurriedly 
marched  by  Whittle  Lane  End  and  Old  Earth  to  Ainley 
Wood.  An  alarm  was  raised  in  Elland  and  men  found 
their  weapons  and  armour  that  Sunday  morning  and 
pursued  the  murderers.  There  was  a  fight  in  Ainley  Wood 
and  Quarmby  was  badly  wounded.  The  chase  continued 
to  Huddersfield  but  the  others  escaped.  As  the  Elland 
men  returned  through  the  wood,  they  heard  crows  and 
magpies  chattering  about  a  tree  covered  with  ivy  and 
there  they  found  Quarmby  hidden  in  the  tree,  and  slew 
him.  Lock  wood  was  betrayed  by  a  sweetheart  at 
Cawthorne,  Lacy  went  into  the  north,  while  Beaumont 
went  abroad  and  died  fighting  with  the  Knights  of  Rhodes. 

Thus  the  Elland  family  became  extinct  and  the  Saviles 
who  had  married  into  the  family  became  lords  of  Elland. 
Their  home  is  on  the  other  side — the  southern  slope  of 
Galder  Vale.  It  was  called  the  New  Hall  in  contrast  to 
the  older  Elland  Hall,  and  the  interesting  old  house  is 
still  called  New  Hall. 

•'  The  Elland  Tragedies  "—reprinted  and  edited  by  J.  Horsfall  Turner. 





In  the  porch  of  Halifax  Parish  Church  is  an  ancient 
grave-cover,  on  which  the  mason  has  carved  a  rude 
representation  of  a  pair  of  shears  beside  the  cross.  Those 
who  have  studied  such  gravestones  say  that  the  shears 
are  a  trade  symbol,  and  that  a  cloth-worker  was  buried 
under  this  stone,  about  the  year  1150.     We  know  nothing 



more  about  the  man,  but  it  is  most  interesting  to  think 
that  our  local  cloth  trade  is  so  ancient.  When  we  turn 
to  examine  our  oldest  written  records,  we  find  that  the 
earliest  court-roll  of  the  Wakefield  manor  commences  with 
a  list  of  jurymen  who  served  at  Rastrick  in  October,  1274 
and  the  sixth  name  on  the  roll  is  Roger  the  Fuller.  Roger 
is  so  described  because  his  principal  occupation  was  the 
fulling  or  finishing  of  cloth.  The  earliest  named  weaver 
is  Thomas  the  Webster,  of  Hipperholme,  in  May,  1275. 

Fig.  9.  -Grave  Cover  (C.  USO)  in  Halifax  Church. 

So  that  we  may  affirm  with  confidence  that  as  far  back 
as  records  go,  men  were  engaged  in  the  woollen  industry 
in  the  parish  of  Halifax. 

These  early  evidences  of  the  trade  are  important 
because  they  disprove  the  legend  that  the  Flemings 
introduced  cloth-making  into  our  district  about  the  year 
1331,  when  Edward  III  invited  Flemish  weavers  to  settle 
in  England.  We  know  that  they  came  to  York,  but  a 
close  examination  of  court-rolls,  local  deeds,  revenue 
returns,  and  lists  of  later  cloth- workers  that  we  shall  study, 

44  THE  STOBV  of  old  HALIFAX. 

fails  to  discover  these  Flemish  weavers  in  our  part  of  the 
country.  Writer  after  writer  has  repeated  the  story, 
without  giving  proofs,  and  though  some  West  Riding 
historians  have  collected  the  correct  and  contrary  evidence, 
the  Flemish  myth  is  still  repeated.  As  we  have  seen, 
there  were  cloth-makers  in  Halifax  long  before  the 
Flemings  landed,  and  the  early  weavers,  dyers,  and  fullers, 
all  bear  good  old  Halifax  names.  Besides,  the  Flemings 
were  the  most  skilful  of  textile  workers  and  made  the 
better  cloths.  Halifax  weavers  were  content,  for  many 
centuries,  to  go  on  producing  the  coarser  qualities. 

I  think  we  may  find  out  why  the  cloth  trade  took 
root  among  our  hills.  In  the  earliest  days,  the  making 
of  cloth  was  a  home  occupation.  Each  family  made  for 
itself  the  cloth  it  needed  for  its  own  clothes.  But,  as  time 
went  on,  men  who  were  clever  at  weaving  devoted  more 
of  their  time  to  it,  and  exchanged  their  cloth  with  those 
who  preferred  farming,  for  corn  and  meat.  Now,  this 
district  was  never  a  favourable  place  for  agriculture,  and 
the  men  naturally  turned  their  hand  to  trade.  The 
comparative  freedom  of  the  men,  through  not  being  so 
closely  tied  to  the  soil,  as  the  tenants  of  small  manors 
were,  also  encouraged  trade. 

In  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth  century,  a  terrible 
plague  visited  England.  Its  effects  were  so  great  that 
the  Black  Death  of  1348  and  1349  is  one  of  the  great 
events  of  English  history.  At  least  one  third  of  the 
people  died.  In  the  West  Riding,  out  of  141  priests,  96 
fell  victims  to  the  Black  Death.  Thomas  of  Gaytington, 
vicar  of  Halifax,  died  on  September  10th,  1349,  and  as 
the  Prior  of  Lewes  had  no  priests  to  send  into  the  north, 
a  local  man,  Richard  of  Ovenden,  was  made  vicar.  In 
less  than  four  months,  he  also  died,  and  another  priest. 


John  of  Stanford,  came  to  the  church.  On  the  Wakefield 
Court  Rolls  an  unusual  number  of  entries  were  made  of 
heirs  paying  fines  to  inherit  the  lands  of  tenants  who  had 
died.  The  poor  people,  who  had  no  land,  suffered  the 
most,  and  there  were  not  sufficient  men  left  in  England 
to  till  the  land  and  gather  the  harvests.  Labourers  were 
very  scarce  and  they  demanded  more  money  than  they 
had  hitherto  received  for  wages,  and  more  than  the  law 
allowed.  The  Government  attempted  to  regulate  the 
prices  of  everything,  and  to  keep  wages  at  the  old  level. 
Their  action  did  not  prevent  rates  becoming  higher,  but 
perhaps  wages  and  prices  would  have  gone  higher  still  if 
it  had  not  been  for  the  penalties.  It  was  impossible  to 
enforce  many  of  the  irksome  manorial  customs,  and  the 
Black  Death  is  said  to  mark  the  end  of  the  feudal  system. 

The  Statute  of  Labourers  was  a  law  passed  by  Par- 
liament, according  to  which,  no  man  was  to  take  higher 
wages  than  he  had  received  before  the  pestilence.  Justices 
were  appointed  to  see  that  the  statute  was  observed. 
William  of  Fincheden,  John  of  Norland,  and  William  of 
Mirfiekl  were  justices  for  the  West  Riding.  This  William 
of  Mirfield  was  lord  of  the  manor  of  Shelf  and  collector 
of  the  revenues  of  Bradford  Church.  In  the  year  1355 
the  fines  amounted  to  £84  4s.  7Jd.  Out  of  this  amount 
£38  Os.  8d.  was  paid  to  the  justices  for  their  fees  and 
expenses,  and  the  balance  ought  to  have  been  paid  to  the 
townships,  which  found  difficulty  in  raising  the  king's 
taxes.  But  the  collectors  absconded  with  the  money  and 
the  record  of  their  misdoings  supplies  us  with  these  few 
details.  The  township  of  Shelf  received  6s.  8d.  relief 
for  the  taxes. 

The  country  had  not  fully  recovered  from  the  ravages 
of  the  Black  Death,  when  Richard  II.  came  to  the  throne. 


To  provide  the  boy-king  with  money,  the  people  were 
taxed.  Each  man  and  woman  over  sixteen  years  of  age 
had  to  pay  fourpence,  though  married  couples  were 
charged  as  one  person.  Merchants  paid  one  shilling  and 
there  were  eight  in  the  parish  ;  twenty-three  tradesmen 
paid  sixpence  each  ;  John  Lacy  of  Cromwell-bottom  and 
Henry  Langfield  of  Elland  paid  3s.  4d.  each  ;  and  John 
Savile  of  Elland,  described  as  a  chevalier  paid  20s. 
Priests  and  beggars  had  no  tax  to  pay.  It  is  known  as 
the  Poll  Tax  of  1379 — "poll"  means  head  and  the  tax 
was  levied  on  heads.  In  the  Public  Records  Office  in 
London,  are  the  original  lists  of  the  people  who  paid  this 
tax,  and  from  them  we  know  who  were  living  in  Halifax 
in  1379  and  something  about  them.  We  have,  in  fact, 
a  most  interesting  Directory  of  Halifax  in  1379. 

In  the  township  of  Halifax,  there  were  16  married 
couples  and  6  single  persons  who  paid  their  groats.  If 
we  add  4  8  children,  3  priests  and  1  beggar,  we  get  a  total 
population  of  90  for  Halifax.  It  is  probable  that  a  few 
escaped  taxation,  but  we  can  be  quite  certain  that  the  pop- 
ulation of  Halifax  was  not  above  100  in  1379,  or  a  less 
number  than  live  to-day  in  one  of  our  shorter  streets.  It 
makes  us  wonder  how  many  were  left  in  Halifax  when  the 
Black  Death  passed.  The  total  population  of  the  whole 
parish  was  under  two  thousand  in  1379.  Elland-cum- 
Greetland  was  the  most  important  township,  6 1  persons 
being  named  and  the  population  calculated  to  be  188. 
Elland  boasted  such  rich  men  as  John  Savile  and  Henry 
Langfield ;  two  merchants  ;  and  six  weavers,  carpenters 
and  smiths.  Sowerby  comes  second  and  Hipperholme 
third  on  the  list.  Halifax  is  half-way  down  the  list  of 
twenty  townships,  and  not  one  man  in  the  township  was 
of  sufficient  social  standing  to  pay  more  than  fourpence. 


We  all  possess  something  that  dates  back  to  the 
fourteenth  century,  and  that  something  is  our  surname. 
From  the  Poll  Tax  Returns  we  can  see  how  these  family 
names  came  into  use,  for  at  that  time  they  w^ere  being 
fixed.  When  there  were  only  a  few  persons  living  in  a 
place,  there  was  not  much  need  for  a  second  name.  We 
never  use  the  second  name  at  home,  or  among  our  friends, 
but  we  call  our  brother,  Jack.  When  we  go  to  school, 
where  there  are  twenty  Jacks,  we  have  to  call  him  Jack 
Greenwood.  In  just  the  same  way,  as  towns  grew  in 
size,  people  began  to  use  a  second  name  and  then  they 
found  it  better  to  keep  the  same  name  for  sons,  grandsons, 
great-grandsons  and  so  on.  Thus  we  were  each  born 
with  a  surname. 

Out  of  eighteen  Halifax  men,  eight  were  named  John. 
There  were  133  Johns,  or  one  third  of  the  men  in  the 
parish,  in   1379.     To  distinguish   these  Johns,   another 
name  was  added,  and  we  have  : — 
John  Oteson,  sometimes  called  John  Otes.     Ote  or  Odo 

was  the  christian  name  of  his  father. 
John,  son  of  Gilbert,  who  was  called  John  Gibson  when 

he  was  elected  constable  in  1382. 
John  Smithson,  whose  father  was  the  smith. 
John,  son  of  John,  was  named  John  Jackson  in  a  court 

roll  of  1370. 
John  Milner  had  the  manorial  corn  mill. 
John   Frauncays  was  a  Frenchman  living  in  Halifax  at 

that  time. 
John  of  the  Wro  and  John  of  the  Bowes  are  named  from 

the  situation  of  their  homes,  which  gave  rise  to  the 

surnames  Wroe  and  Boyes. 

The  first  name  on  the  Halifax  list  is  William,  son  of 
Henry,  who  was  afterwards  called  William  Hanson  (or 


Henryson).  His  brother  Richard  was  Vicar  of  Halifax, 
and  is  described  as  son  of  Henry  of  Heaton.  The  vicar's 
surname  was  Heaton  and  his  son  was  a  Heaton,  but  his 
brother's  family  went  by  the  name  of  Hanson.  From 
this  case  we  gather  that  surnames  had  not  become  finally 
fixed.  Robert  Lister's  name  appears  in  the  list — a  lister 
was  a  dyer.  In  1311,  we  find  Bate,  the  lister  of  Halifax. 
In  1338,  his  son  is  named  Richard  Bateson,  but  in  1359, 
the  same  man  is  called  Richard  Lister.  So  we  can  see 
that  the  Listers  might  have  been  known  as  Bateson  or 
Bates-  There  were  Otes  of  Holdsworth,  Thomas  of  Cliff 
and  Richard  of  Bottom  living  in  Halifax,  and  their  names 
are  still  used  as  surnames. 

It  is  worth  while  pointing  out  that  two  men  could 
bear  the  same  surname  and  not  have  the  slightest 
relationship  to  one  another.  The  William  Hanson  of 
Halifax,  son  of  Henry  of  Heaton,  had  no  kinship  with 
the  William  Hanson  of  Rastrick,  living  at  the  same  date, 
for  this  second  William  was  son  of  Henry  of  Rastrick. 
There  was  a  Milner  for  every  one  of  the  corn  mills — Hugh 
and  John  at  EUand,  John  at  Halifax,  Randolph  at 
Heptonstall,  Henry  at  North owram,  and  William  at 
Sowerby.  They  all  had  the  same  surname,  Milner, 
because  they  all  plied  the  same  trade,  but  they  were  not 
related  to  one  another.  The  origin  of  surnames  provides 
a  fascinating  study.  It  is  interesting  to  discover  some 
fourteenth  century  Robert  or  John  or  Henry  who  gave 
his  name  to  a  family.  A  remote  moorland  hamlet  like 
Shackleton  or  Saltonstall,  even  a  lonely  farm  house  such 
as  Akroyd  or  Sunderland  gave  a  name  to  a  family,  and 
afterwards  some  gifted  member  of  the  family  makes  the 
name  world  famous.  The  surnames  derived  from  trades 
are,  as  we  have   already   noticed,  very  important.     To 



explain  some  of  these,  it  will  be  necessary  to  give  an 
account  of  how  cloth  was  made,  and  the  many  processes 
required  for  each  piece. 


Fig.  10.— Akroyd  in  Wadsworth. 

Hioto.  H.  p.  Kendall. 

First  of  all,  sheep  had  to  be  reared.  When  our 
district  was  mostly  moorland  with  a  few  fields  scattered 
along  the  hill-sides  like  oases,  there  was  ample  room  for 
large  flocks.  In  1379  we  find  John  the  Shepherd  of 
Midgley,  and  Alice  Shepherd  of  Warley,  who  perhaps 
lived  at  Shepherd  House.  Shibden  was  formerly  spelt 
Schepedene — the  sheep  vale.  In  1367,  according  to  the 
tithes  accounts,  2340  stone  of  wool  was  clipped  in  Halifax 
Parish.     The  fleece  was  sorted   into  different   qualities 


and  lengths  of  wool,  washed  to  free  it  from  grease,  and 
the  dust  and  foreign  matter  beaten  or  picked  from  it. 
The  next  processes,  carding  and  spinning  were  done  by 
women.  The  cards  were  like  two  square  hair  brushes 
with  wire  bristles.  The  end  of  every  wire  was  bent 
towards  the  handle.  A  handful  of  wool  was  laid  on  one 
card,  and  drawn  off  the  card  with  the  other  card.  The 
carding  straightened  the  wool  out  ready  for  spinning. 
Spinning  took  up  so  much  of  the  women's  time,  that 
unmarried  women  were  called — and  are  still  called — 
spinsters.  In  spinning,  a  long  rod,  named  a  distaff*  was 
used.  A  bundle  of  the  carded  wool  was  tied  on  the  top 
end  of  the  distaff.  A  little  of  the  wool  was  pulled  out 
and  twisted  into  a  thread  by  the  finger  and  thumb.  The 
thread  was  tied  on  to  a  spindle.  At  the  end  of  the 
spindle  was  a  spindle-whorl,  a  round  piece  of  stone  or 
iron  that  acted  like  a  little  fly-wheel,  so  that  when  the 
spindle  was  given  a  twist,  the  spindle-whorl  would  keep 
it  spinning  for  a  time.  The  wool  was  gradually  pulled 
off  the  distaff,  the  thread  was  twisted  by  the  continued 
spinning  and  wound  on  the  spindle.  The  spun  wool  is 
called  the  yarn. 

Weaving  is  the  most  important  process  in  the  making 
of  cloth.  The  yarn  is  carefully  wound  on  to  a  roller  or 
beam  which  is  fixed  in  the  back  of  the  loom,  and  the 
threads  are  stretched  in  parallel  lines  the  length  of  the 
loom  and  fastened  to  the  front  roller.  These  threads  are 
the  warp  of  the  cloth.  As  the  rollers  are  slowly  turned, 
the  warp  on  the  back  beam  is  gradually  unwound,  while 
the  front  roller  becomes  full  of  cloth.  To  make  the 
cloth,  a  cross-thread  called  the  weft  has  to  be  put  in. 
In  darning  a  stocking-hole,  the  cross-threads  are  made 
by  pushing  the  needle  over  the  first  thread,  under  the 


second,  and  over  and  under  the  alternate  threads.  But 
the  loom  has  a  quicker  method.  Each  horizontal  warp 
thread  passes  through  the  loop  of  a  vertical  thread,  and 
these  vertical  threads  are  tied,  top  and  bottom  to  a  pair 
of  laths  or  headles.  There  are  two  pairs  of  these  laths, 
hung  from  pulleys  on  the  top  of  the  loom  frame,  and 
fastened  at  the  bottom  to  a  pair  of  treadles.  When  the 
weaver  presses  down  one  treadle  with  his  right  foot,  the 
right  pair  of  headles  drop  down  and  the  left  pair  go 
up.  The  loops  pull  down  the  first,  third,  and  all  the 
odd-numbered  warp  threads,  and  the  even-numbered 
warp  threads  are  raised.  The  shuttle  containing 
the  weft  is  thrown  through  the  opening,  and  so  the 
thread  goes  over  and  under  the  alternate  threads 
as  the  darning  needle  does.  Then  the  left  treadle  is 
pressed  down,  and  the  shuttle  thrown  back  again  across 
the  opening.  The  earlier  weavers  used  a  short,  heavy 
comb  to  beat  the  weft  together,  but  later  a  long  comb  or 
reed  was  attached  to  the  loom.  This  was  made  of  fine 
reeds  fixed  betweeen  two  laths.  The  thread  of  the  warp 
runs  between  these  reeds,  thus  the  reeds  keep  the  warp 
straight.  The  reed  is  fixed  in  a  heavy  frame  swinging 
from  the  top  of  the  loom.  After  every  throw  of  the 
shuttle  the  -reed  is  swung  against  the  weft  to  press  it 
tightly  into  the  web  of  the  cloth.  In  old  wills  a  loom  is 
called  a  "pair  of  looms,"  which  means  a  set  of  looms, 
just  as  sometimes,  a  chest  of  drawers  is  called  a  "  pair  of 

Webster  has  never  been  a  common  surname  in 
Halifax.  The  name  is  very  rare  in  the  early  registers, 
and  cannot  be  found  in  the  published  wills.  The  reason 
for  this  is  that  it  was  not  distinctive  enough  in  a 
community  where  there  were  many  weavers.      The  Poll 


Tax  of  1379  gives  no  example  of  Webster  as  a  surname. 
However,  among  the  twenty -three  tradesmen,  rated  at 
sixpence,  four  are  websters — Hugh  Stephenson,  Alice 
and  Isabella  of  the  Cross  in  Elland,  and  John  Dean  of 
Midgley.  Half-a-dozen  men  and  one  woman  called 
Webster,  of  Halifax  Parish  are  to  be  found  on  the 
court-rolls  between  1272  and  1327 — that  is,  before  the 
Flemings  came — for  weaving  would  not  be  so  universal 

The  raw  cloth  from  the  loom  had  next  to  be  fulled, 
that  is  to  say  scoured,  cleansed,  and  thickened  by 
beating  it  in  water.  In  the  early  days,  this  was  done 
by  men  trampling  upon  the  cloth  in  a  trough,  and  the 
process  was  therefore  called  "walking"  and  the  fuller 
was  known  as  a  "walker."  During  the  thirteenth 
century,  improvements  were  made  and  the  cloth  was 
beaten  by  large  wooden  mallets,  which  were  worked  up 
and  down  by  a  water-wheel.  Fulling  mills  were  built 
by  the  stream  banks,  and  the  lord  of  the  manor  leased 
the  right  to  work  such  mill  to  some  Fuller  or  Walker. 
There  were  nine  Walkers  in  1379,  and  there  are  nine 
Fullers  or  Walkers  mentioned  in  the  court  rolls  prior  to 
1327.  These  "  walk-mylnes  "  were  the  only  mills  used 
in  the  manufacture  of  cloth  for  five  hundred  years,  hence 
the  "fulling"  is  nowadays  called  "milling,"  though  every 
process  is  to-day  carried  on  in  a  mill. 

After  the  fulling,  the  cloth  was  stretched  on  tenters 
to  dry.  In  1414,  Eichard  of  High  Sunderland  had  a 
"tentercroft"  (a  small  field  with  tenter  frames)  in  Halifax. 
You  may  to-day  see  tentercrofts  attached  to  the 
blanket  mills  about  Mytholmroyd.  In  the  final  processes 
of  finishing,  the  loose  fibres  of  the  cloth  were  raised  by 
teasels,  the  dried  heads  of  the  "fuller's  thistle."     This 


raised  portion  was  cut  off  by  "  Walker's  Shears "  to 
produce  an  even  nap  on  the  cloth.  Last  of  all  the  piece 
was  dyed.  We  shall  have  to  omit  any  description  of  the 
dyeing  processes.  In  the  thirteenth  century  dyers  were 
called  "  litsters,"  hence  the  surname  "Lister."  In  1274 
Bate,  or  Bartholomew  Lister  carried  on  the  dyeing  trade  at 
North  Bridge.  There  were  four  listers  or  dyers  in  1379. 
In  Bankfield  Museum,  there  is  a  valuable  collection 
of  appliances,  used  in  the  early  manufacture  of  cloth. 

"  Poll  Tax,  1379,"— Ux.  Antqn.  Socy.,  Record  Series,  Vol.  I. 





THE    TOWER — HALIFAX    IN    1439. 

T^he  most  interesting  method  of  studying  the  history 
of  Halifax  in  the  fifteenth  century,  is  to  take  a  ramble 
along  the  first  two  miles  of  the  ancient  road  to  Wakefield. 
Starting  from  the  Parish  Church,  cross  Clark  Bridge 
and  climb  Old  Bank  to  Beacon  Hill  Boad,  where  the 
Southowram  trams  run.  So  far,  we  see  little  to  remind 
us  of  by-gone  days,  except  the  steepness  of  the  route. 
It  is  obvious  that  travellers  on  foot,  or  horse,  and  pack- 
horses  made  this  road  and  that  it  was  never  in  tented  for 
carts.  From  Beacon  Hill  Boad,  a  track  traverses  the 
slope  up  to  the  shoulder  of  the  hill,  just  below  the 
Beacon  Pan.  Shale  and  stones  have  been  tipped  and 
washed  down  the  bare  slope  by  storms,  so  that  the  track 
is  obscured  for  the  most  part.  But  here  and  there  the 
ancient  paving  stones  are  visible,  and  near  the  summit 



of  the  pass  there  is  a  fine  elbow  turn  where  the  pack- 
horse  pavement  is  exposed  in  perfect  condition.  After 
the  highest  point  is  reached,  the  road,  known  as 
Barraclough  Lane,  is  for  a  short  distance,  a  wide  sandy 
road.      Down  the  eastern  slope,  towards  Hipperholme,  it 

Fig.  11.— VViscoMBE  Bank. 
The  old  pack-horse  road  on  Beacon  Hill. 

retains  its  primitive  state  and  is  called  Dark  Lane.  The 
road  has  a  narrow,  paved  track,  suitable  for  pack-horses. 
High  banks  on  either  side,  covered  with  holly  bushes, 
briers,  and  bracken  shelter  the  road,  and  in  some  places 
the  small  trees  almost  meet  overhead.  Dark  Lane  ends 
near  an  ancient  house  named  Dumb  Mill,  just  below 
Hipperholme  Station. 



This  narrow  lane  was  the  Magna  Via — the  Great 
E-oad  to  and  from  HaHfax  in  the  old  days,  for  it  was  the 
way  to  Wakefield,  London,  and  the  outside  world.  Few, 
if  any,  English  towns  of  the  size  of  Halifax,  possess  a 
stretch  of  ancient  road  as  little  spoiled  by  the  changes 
of  time  as  our  Magna  Via.      It  is  an  historic  monument 

-■•■:•'-             ^m 




Fig.  12.— The  Magna  Via. 

Photo.  M.  HanaoH. 

that  ought  to  be  preserved.  Up  and  down  this  road 
came  the  monks  from  Lewes  and  the  early  priests  of  the 
Parish  Church.  The  Earls  of  Warren  rode  this  way  to 
their  hunting  in  Sowerbyshire,  their  stewards  and  men 
came  to  officiate  at  the  manor  courts,  and  Halifax  men 
drove  destrained  cattle  to  Wakefield  by  this  route. 
The  masons  and  carpenters  of  York  coming  to  build  the 


church  got  their  first  gHmpse  of  Hahfax  from  this  road. 
Thousands  of  pack-horses  carrying  cloth  to  London  and 
other  markets,  and  returning  with  wool  from  the  southern 
counties,  have  worn  this  paved  track. 

Retracing  our  steps,  and  lifting  our  eyes  from  the 
road  to  the  surrounding  hills,  we  can  trace  the  eastern 
boundaries  of  the  parish,  from  Fixby  to  Queensbury, 
Soil  Hill,  and  Ogden.  We  have  a  splendid  view  of  the 
upper  part  of  Shibden  Dale.  There  are  no  mills  and  no 
roads  in  the  valley,  therefore  Shibden  has  not  altered 
much  in  appearance.  The  dale  is  served  by  two  roads, 
each  perched  high  up  on  the  jSanking  hills.  Brow  Lane 
on  the  eastern  side  follows  a  high  contour  of  the  hill. 
On  the  other  side  is  the  Old  Bradford  Boad  from  Bange 
Bank  to  Swales  Moor.  The  road  on  which  we  are 
standing  is  a  similar  high-level  road,  and  it  is  important 
to  remember  that  the  old  routes  were  always  near  the 
hill-tops.  This  part  of  the  hill  was  called  Bairstow  from 
its  bareness,  and  the  other  side,  overlooking  Halifax,  was 
known  as  Clegg  Cliff,  or  Gled cliff — the  clay  clif! — long 
before  the  hill  took  its  name  from  the  Beacon. 

From  Barrowclough  Lane  we  can  see  several  very 
old  homesteads.  Upper  Brea  on  the  eastern  side,  and 
Horley  Green  on  the  western  side,  occupy  two  fine 
situations  on  either  flank  of  Upper  Shibden  Dale. 
Above  Horley  Green  is  High  Sunderland,  looking  like  a 
fort  on  the  bare  hillside.  In  the  centre  of  the  valley, 
Shibden  Fold  peeps  over  the  embankment  of  the  modern 
road.  Its  whitewashed  gable  front  is  a  timber  erection 
of  the  fifteenth  century.  Cosily  nestled  below  us  lies 
Shibden  Hall,  the  most  interesting  of  all  our  old  halls. 
It  was  from  this  road  that  its  early  owners  approached  it, 
and  from  our  standpoint  we  have  a  fine  view  of  its  front. 



Shibden  Hall  is  a  timbered  house,  to  which,  later 
stone  portions,  and  a  nineteenth  century  tower  have  been 
added.  In  the  fifteenth  century  all  the  houses  were 
built  of  oak.  Large  oak  trees  were  plentiful  in  the 
district,  and  timber  was  easier  to  get  and  to  work  than 
stone.     To  build  a  house,  several  pairs  of  large  oak  posts 

Fig.  13.— Shibden  Hai.i.,; 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kainhill. 

or  "crooks"  were  chosen.  These  were  so  cut  from  the 
tree  that  they  curved  inwards  at  the  top.  A  low  stone 
wall  was  built  for  a  foundation,  with  larger  stones  placed 
where  the  posts  had  to  stand.    The  "crooks"  were  reared 



upright,  and  joined  together  with  horizontal  oak  beams. 
This  framework  of  posts  and  beams  carried  the  roof,  and 
old  carpenters  used  to  say  that  in  building  these  old 
houses,  the  roof  was  made  before  the  walls.      To  make 

Fig.   14.--DEKRPLAY 

Timber  House  at  Mill  Bank. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

the  walls,  beams  were  tenoned  between  the  posts  below 
the  window  level,  and  also  above  the  windows.  The 
spaces  between  the  main  timbers  of  the  wall  were  framed 
up  with   oak  battens  about   seven   inches   wide,  either 


vertically  or  diagonally.  All  this  oak  framing — posts, 
beams,  and  battens,  (or  "  studding ")  makes  the  black 
lines  in  these  magpie  buildings.  Between  the  "studding," 
thin  stone  slates  were  slipped  into  grooves,  and  then 
daubed  over  with  clay.  This  gives  the  white  effect. 
The  roof  was  covered  with  stone  slates,  and  moss  packed 
into  the  joints.  The  moss  sucked  the  rain-water  up  like 
a  sponge.  As  it  expanded  it  filled  up  the  joints,  and 
made  the  roof  water-tight. 

These  old  houses  usually  faced  south  and  the  principal 
entrance  was  called  the  sun-door.  From  this  door  a 
passage  ran  through  the  house  to  the  back  door.  On 
the  left-hand  side  of  this  passage  was  the  main  room, 
called  the  house-body.  The  living  room  is  to-day  often 
called  the  house.  This  house-body  usually  was  open  to 
the  roof  and  around  its  walls  was  a  gallery  to  give  access 
to  the  chambers  or  bedrooms.  The  house-body  and 
passage  made  up  the  centre  portion  of  the  building.  It 
was  flanked  on  either  side  by  wings  whose  gable-ends 
faced  south  and  north.  In  one  wing  would  be  two 
parlours  with  chambers  above.  In  the  other,  kitchen 
and  buttery  were  placed  with  two  or  three  more  bedrooms 
above  them. 

In  Shibden  Hall  Park,  near  the  lake  is  a  timbered 
house  that  once  stood  in  Cripplegate,  near  the  Parish 
Church.  Mr.  John  Lister  removed  it  into  his  grounds 
when  some  alterations  were  made  at  the  bottom  of  the 
town.  Overlooking  the  lake  is  yet  another  old  house, 
now  called  Daisy  Bank.  Its  back  is  close  to  the  Hipper- 
holme  road.  We  may  get  a  peep  at  its  front  from  a 
lootpath  at  the  edge  of  the  garden.  This  building,  also 
saved  by  Mr.  Lister,  formerly  stood  in  the  centre  of  the 
town.       It    was   then    known    as   "  The    House  at    the 



Maypole,"  because  it  was  close  to  the  maypole  at  the 
corner  of  Old  Market  and  Corn  Market.  The  entrance 
to  the  house  is  decorated  with  heraldic  carving.  A 
Tudor  rose  and  a  portcullis — the  badge  of  Henry  VII.-- 
denote  that  the  house  was  built  at  some  date  between 
1485  and  1509.  A  shield  bearing  the  arms  of  the 
Merchant  Adventurers,  and  another  shield  "displaying  a 


Fig.  15.— TiiK  House  at  the  Maypoli;.    15th  Cent.  Dookwav. 

merchant's  mark,  denote  that  the  buikling  was  originally 
tenanted  by  a  merchant.  We  do  not  know  his  name, 
but  his  initials,  S.  O.,  are  over  the  doorway. 

Sunny  Bank,  Greetland,  is  probably  the  oldest  in  the 
parish  of  the  timbered  house  that  still  rem5,in.  A  public 
footpath  passes  through  the  farmyard,  which  makes  it 
possible  for  the  visitor  to  examine  it  closely.  The  house 
was    owned    by   Thomas    Wilkinson,   Vicar   of    Haiifax,. 



Plwto.  H.  P.  Kendall 

'Fig.  16.— Shibden  Hall,Porch, 
Showing  the  Stone  Front  of  the  Centre  Portion. 



Fig.  17.— High  Sundeuland. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

Fig.  18.— Norland  Hall. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 



1438-1480.  Its  original  name  was  Over  Nabroyd,  but 
the  vicar  changed  its  name  to  the  prettier  title  of  Sunny 
Bank.  The  shop  now  occupied  by  Messrs.  Altham  at 
the  top  of  Woolshops  is  also  a  timbered  structure,  but  it 
has  been  plastered  over  and  the  timber  hidden. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Keiidalf. 

Fig.  19  —Window  of  Timbkr  Building,  Norland  Hall. 

Remains  of  these  timbered  houses  are  to  be  found  in 
many  of  the  seventeenth  century  stone  halls.  Oak  does 
not  last  for  ever,  so  when  the  posts  began  to  show  signs 
of  decay,  it  became  the  custom  to  build  a  stone  front  t© 
replace  the  black  and  white  erection.  At  Shibden  Hall, 
the  house- body  was  encased  with  stone,  but  the  rest  of 
the  south  front  was  left  in  its  original  condition.      High 





Sunderland  is  a  timber  hoiise  encased  with  stone.  The 
present  front  (17th  century)  has  a  straight  embattled 
cornice.     But  from  the  hill  side  behind  the  house,  we  can 

Fig.  21.— TiMBKR  Work  at  Binroyd. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

look  on  to  the  roof  and  see  that  the  older  building  had  a 
gabled   front   before   the    Sunderlands    erected    a   stony 


screen  that  hides  the  shape  of  the  timbered  house. 
Norland  Hall,  pulled  down  a  few  years  ago,  was  a  good 
example  of  a  timbered  house  with  a  later  stone  exterior. 
There  it  was  possible  to  see  the  original  narrow  windows 
with  oak  mullions.  Fortunately  a  record  of  the  house 
has  been  published. 

The  poorer  people  were  housed  in  very  small  cabins, 
but  none  of  these  miserable  one-roomed  houses  remain  for 
our  inspection.  Id  1286,  Peter  Swerd  unjustly  ejected 
Alice  of  the  Croft  from  her  land  in  Mankinholes  and  cast 
down  her  house.  The  damage  was  said  to  be  lOs.  6d. 
It  shows  us  that  Alice's  house  must  have  been  a  poor 

In  Chapter  III.,  the  earliest  fragments  of  the  Parish 
Church  showed  us  that  older  and  smaller  churches  stood 
on  the  site  of  the  present  building.  We  have  next  to 
consider  the  building  of  the  church  that  we  see  to-day. 
Old  churches  are  more  interesting  than  modern  buildings, 
because  they  have  been  altered  and  rebuilt  to  serve  the 
varying  needs  of  the  centuries,  and  it  is  a  fascinating 
study  to  trace  their  growth.  England  is  rich  in  ancient 
parish  churches  and  no  two  are  exactly  alike,  The 
greater  part  of  Halifax  church  was  built  during  the 
fifteenth  century.  We  may  admire  the  architecture  and 
boast  that  it  is  a  large  and  handsome  church,  but  it  is 
impossible  for  us  to  be  impressed  by  its  majesty  as  were 
those  men  of  Halifax  who  watched  it  gradually  rise, 
stone  upon  stone.  Kemember  that  at  that  time,  all  the 
houses  in  the  parish  were  timbered  buildings.  For  at 
least  a  century'after  the  church  was  finished,  there  was 
no  other  stone  building.  There  was  no  other  building  to 
compare  with  it — a  town  hall,  hospital,  schools,  etc.  were 
undreamt  of. 




The  church  has  two  main  (Uvisioiis.  In  the  nave  or 
west  end  of  the  building,  the  people  assembled  ;  while  in 
the  chancel  at  the  east  end,  the  clergy  conducted  the 
worship.  The  building  of  the  nave  is  usuall}/  ascribed  to 
the  time  of  John  King,  who  was  vicar  from  1389  to  1488. 
Vicar  King  left  to  the  fabric  of  the  church  100  shillings, 
which  was  a  very  large  amount  in  those  days.  The 
windows  of  the  fifteenth  century  are  much  larger  than 
the  older  lancet  windows  in  the  north  wall,  because  great 
sheets  of  stained  or  painted  windows  gave  a  beautiful 
colour  effect  to  the  interior,  and  people  were  enthusiastic 
about  decorating  their  churches  with  them.  The  roof 
was  steeper  than  the  present  one  ;  the  lines  of  the 
original  roof  can  be  seen  on  the  eastern  face  of  the  tower. 
The  builder's  first  idea  was  to  place  the  tower  at  the 
south-west  corner  of  the  nave.  If  you  enter  the  church 
you  will  see  that  the  pillar  between  the  door  and  the  font 
is  much  stronger  than  the  others  because  it  was  built  to 
carry  the  tower.  In  the  south-west  corner  is  the  door- 
way for  the  staircase  up  the  tower.  Stand  with  your 
back  to  this  door  and  look  up.  Above  the  two  arches, 
you  will  see  a  course  of  stones  where  the  floor  of  the 
tower  would  have  been.  We  cannot  tell  how  high  this 
tower  was  built  ])efore  it  was  abandoned  for  the  larger 

The  chancel  is  as  long  as  the  nave,  though  usually  the 
cliancel  of  a  church  is  much  smaller  than  the  nave.  1  he 
chancel  of  Halifax  Church  was  built  at  two  different 
times,  for  the  pillars  east  of  the  present  choir-screen  vary 
from  those  to  the  west  of  it.  At  one  time  a  large  rood 
screen,  dividing  the  chancel  and  nave,  was  situated  under 
the  great  central  arch  of  the  church.  Half  of  the  door- 
way that  gave  access  to  the  rood  loft  can  be  seen  in  the 



Fig.  23.— Pkkpemucular  Window  of  the  ISth  Ce.ntuuy. 



pier.  The  other  half  was  cut  away  when  the  Holdsworth 
Chapel  was  added  to  the  church.  The  doorways  for  the 
stairs  to  a  later  rood  loft  can  be  seen  opposite  the  present 

Fig.  2^. -Large  Pikr,  Dksi(4ned  to  Support  thf.  Earlikr  Tower. 

choir-screen.  Another  interesting  doorway  is  next  to  the 
north  jamb  of  the  great  east  window.  At  present  it 
opens  into  space,  but  at  one  time  it  led  on  to  the  roof,  so 


we  know  that  the  chancel  roof  was  then  lower  than  it  is 
now.  On  the  exterior  of  the  south  wall  of  the  chancel 
are  three  buttresses.  On  the  centre  one  is  a  moulding  at 
the  level  of  the  roof.  On  the  other  two  are  carved  an 
antelope  and  a  lion.  These  heraldic  beasts  were  the 
badges  of  Henry  VI.,  and  therefore  they  help  us  to  date 
this  work.  They  were  probably  carved  before  1455,  for 
after  that  date  Henry  VI.  and  Richard  Duke  of  York 
(who  was  Lord  of  the  Manor  of  Wakefield)  were  open  rivals. 
During  the  War  of  the  Roses,  Richard  was  killed  in  front 
of  his  castle  at  Sandal,  in  the  Battle  of  Wakefield.  Later 
again  Henry  was  obliged  to  hide  in  the  border  country  of 
Lancashire  and  Westmoreland.  He  was  betrayed  and 
captured  by  the  Talbots  at  Bungelly  Hipping-stones  near 
Clitheroe  in  1465.  A  year  later,  Thomas  Wilkinson, 
vicar,  thirty-two  Halifax  men,  and  certain  other  strong 
fellows  from  the  country-side  attacked  the  Talbots  at 
Burnley.  We  do  not  know  the  exact  cause  of  the  quarrel, 
but  it  almost  looks  as  if  the  Halifax  expedition  into 
Lancashire  was  on  account  of  their  loyalty  to  the  unfor- 
tunate Henry  VI. 

Thomas  Wilkinson  was  Vicar  of  Halifax  for  the  long 

period  of  from    1438  until   1480.      During  his  time  the 

church  was  considerably  enlarged.      The  vicar  was  not 

satisfied  with  the  chancel  as  it  appeared  in   1455,  and 

proceeded  to  add  a  clerestory  to  it.     The  building  of  this 

'clear  storey,"  with  its  series  of  windows,  giving  more 

lio^ht  to  the  chancel,  meant  that  the  eastern  wall  of  the 

church  had  to  be  built  higher.     Vicar  Wilkinson  "  made 

at  his  own  expense,  the  great  window  in  the  chancel." 

His  will  dated    14  77  makes  no  mention  of  such  a  gift,  so 

the  window  was  given  during  his  lifetime.      Therefore 

the  clerestory  was  built  between  1455  and  14  80.     There 


are  a  few  more  details  woi'th  noticing.  The  staircase 
within  the  pier  to  the  north  of  the  east  window,  that  led 
to  the  lower  roof,  was  continued  upward.  '  A  circular 
stair  head  with  a  conical  top  was  made  at  the  eastern 
end  of  the  north  side  of  the  clerestory.  The  parapet  of 
the  chancel  is  different  in  design  to  the  parapet  of  the 
clerestory.  But  when  the  eastern  wall  was  made  higher, 
its  parapet  was  carefully  taken  down  and  replaced  at  the 
level  of  the  clerestory.  In  1467,  Lawrence  Bentley, 
constable  of  Halifax,  reported  that  -Vicar  Wilkinson  had 
cut  down  trees  at  the  Birks,  in  violation  of  the  custom 
of  the  manor,  and  to  the  great  detriment  of  the  tenants. 
Probably  the  timber  was  wanted  for  the  church. 

Most  parish  churches  that  boast  a  clerestory — 
Bradford  for  example — have  them  to  light  the  nave.  In 
many  cases  the  clerestory  is  extended  over  the  chancel 
as  well.  But  Halifax  church  is  practically  unique  in 
possessing  a  clerestory  to  the  chancel  without  having  one 
at  the  western  end  of  the  church.  The  priests  were 
responsible  for  the  building  and  upkeej)  of  the  chancel, 
while  the  people  had  the  care  of  the  nave.  Vicar 
Wilkinson  certainly  erected  a  magnificient  chancel,  and 
the  people  of  Halifax,  in  emulation,  set  about  to  improve 
the  western  half  of  the  church.  They  determined  to 
build  a  nobler  tower.  Up  to  this  time  the  ground-plan 
of  the  church  was  a  simple  oblong.  The  central  arch 
divided  the  church  half-way  into  nave  and  chancel.  The 
tower  added  to  the  plan  a  small  square  at  the  west  end. 
The  tower  was  commenced  in  1449.  The  date  is  known 
because  John  Waterhouse,  when  a  boy  of  six  or  seven 
years,  stood  with  many  more  children  on  the  first  stone 
of  the  tower.  John  Waterhouse  lived  to  be  97.  It  took 
at  least  thirty-seven  years  to  build  the  tower,  for  in  1482 



a  bequest  of  3s.  4d.  was  made  to  the  making  of  the  bell 
tower  of  Halifax.  The  masons  could  not  have  been 
continually  at  work  on  the  tower  for  all  that  time. 
Church  building  had  oftei^i  to  stop  for  funds,  and  during 
the  Wars  of  the  Roses  interruptions  would  occur.  An 
authority  on  church  architecture  says  "Almost  the  single 
glory  of  Halifax  is  its  grand  old  mother-church,  crowned 

Fig.  25.— Thk  Moot  Hall  and  Church  Tower. 

by  a  tower  that  for  simple  dignity  is  possibly  unrivalled 
in  the  Riding.  We  need  not  regret  its  lowly  situation 
in  quite  the  lowest  hollow  of  the  town;  its  own 
magnitude  and  stateliness  are  suiEcient  to  assure  its 
recognition  under  any  disadvantage  of  site."  Mr.  Oddy's 
drawing  of  the  tower  will  help  you  to  see  its  beauty. 

The    South    Porch   was    the    gift    of    John    Lacy   of 



Cromwell  Bottom  who  died  in  1531.      His  coat  of  arms^ 
and  crest  are  carved  in  the  gable  of  the  porch.     The  west 

Fig.  26.— The  Font  and  Cover. 

Photo.  J.  H.  Chainhen 

wall  of  the  Holds  worth  Chapel  shows  at  a  glance  that 
the  porch  was  built  before  the  chapel,  for  the  wall  of  the 
chapel  was  erected  on  the  porch  wall. 



In  the  fifteenth  century,  the  interior  of  the  church 
was  very  different  in  appearance  to  what  we  see  to-day. 
There  was  mubh  more  colour.  The  windows  were  filled 
with  brilliant  stained  glass.  The  walls,  now  rough 
and  bare,  had  a  smooth  coat  of  plaster,  and  between 
the  windows  were  decorated  with  large  paintings  repre- 
senting scenes  from  the  Bible,  and  from  the  lives  of 
the  saints.  The  roof  was  painted  blue,  dotted  with  gold 
stars,  and  even  the  stone  pillars  were  painted.  There 
was  also  some  fine  woodwork,  part  of  which  has  happily 

Fifj.  27.— Wood  Cauvin<;  on  a  Priest's  Seat. 

been  preserved.  The  font  cover,  elaborately  carved  like 
a  miniature  spire  is  a  beautiful  example  of  fifteenth 
century  woodwork.  Originally  it  was  painted  green 
red,  and  blue,  and  bedecked  with  gilded  knobs.  The 
priests'  seats  in  the  choir  have  mermaids,  pelicans, 
and  grotesque  animals  carved  on  them.  Besides,  there 
would  be  images  of  saints  aroiuid  the  walls,  and  a  great 
crucifix  over  the  rood-screen.  The  air  was  heavy  with 
incense  and  many  candles  were  burning.  The  priests 
wore  gorgeous  vestments  on  festival  days,  and  the  whole 
of  the  interior  was  a  blaze  of  colour.      There  were  no 


pews,  the  whole  length  of  the  floor  was  empty  except 
for  a  very  few  benches.  The  worshippers  had  to  stand 
during  the  services. 

Although  such  a  large  church  was  built  at  Halifax, 
the  town  itself  was  very  small.  The  rents  of  the  land 
and  houses  were  paid  to  the  Prior  of  Lewes.  An  account 
of  the  monies  he  received  on  December  17th,  1439,  has 
been  preserved.  From  this  rental  we  can  form  some 
idea  of  the  size  of  the  town.  Robert  Otes  had  a  shop 
and  some  land  at  the  west  end  of  the  churchyard,  and 


Fig.  28.— Mason's  INIarks. 

this  land  had  been  taken  lately  from  the  waste.  This 
shows  that  there  was  waste  land  quite  close  to  the 
church,  so  the  cluster  of  houses  around  the  church  was 
very  small  indeed.  Strips  of  the  open  fields  are 
mentioned,  and  we  learn  that  hay  was  grown  that  year 
in  the  Blackledge  Field,  and  that  the  South  Field  was 
ploughed.  Next  to  the  church  was  the  Moot  Hall,  and 
the  large  common  field  around  the  Moot  Hall  was  called 
the  Hall  Ing.  There  were  no  streets  of  houses  or  shops 
and  even  the  oldest  names  of  our  streets  are  not 
mentioned.  Some  of  the  place-names  of  1439  are  now 
obsolete,  and  we  cannot  tell  where  they  were  situated. 
A  garden  at  the  boundary  of  the  town  was  named 
Dyshbyndesherde,  a  new  close  was  Skylderyeforth,  and 
there  w^ere  houses  known  as  New-house,  White-house, 
Machon-house,  Rendurer  Place,  and  Myleas  Place.     The 

Halifax  paeish  church. 



A— Present  Tower 
B— Font 

C— Unfinished  Tower 
D— South  Porch 
F— Choir  Stalls 
H-Holclsworth  Chapel 
I  —  Rokeby  Chapei 

Fig.  29.— Ground  Plan. 


Well  House  (Well  Head)  and  the  Shay  are  still  known 
to  us.  Near  the  North  Brig  was  Lister's  fulling  mill, 
while  Eobert  the  Milner  ground  the  people's  corn  at 
Stone  Dam  Mill.  In  1367,  two  new  mill-stones  were 
brought  from  Grindlestone  Bank  in  Ovenden  Wood  for 
the  mill.  Bichard  Peck  was  one  of  the  largest  land- 
holders in  Halifax  town  in  1439,  though  he  did  not  live 
in  the  township.  His  home  was  at  Owram  Hall  in 
Shibden  (near  the  present  Industrial  School).  Peck  was 
very  rich  and  it  is  thought  that  he  subscribed  liberally 
to  the  re-building  of  the  church,  for  he  had  the  honour, 
unusual  for  a  layman,  of  being  buried  in  the  choir.  By 
trade,  Peck  was  a  goldsmith  and  silversmith. 

"The  House  at  the  Maypole" — Chap.  IL  in  H.  Ling   Koth's   "Yorkshire 
Coiners  and  Old  Halifax." 

Halifax  Antiquarian  Society's  Transactions. 

1907-"  Shibden  Hall,"  by  J.  Lister.  1907-"  High  Sunderland,"  by  J  Lister. 
1911— "Norland  Hall,"  by  H.  P.  Kendall.      1917— "The  Evolution  of  the 

Parish  Church,  Halifax,  (1455-1530)"  by  T.  W.  HANSON. 
1908— "Halifax  Parish  Church  Woodwork,"  by  Canon  Savage. 

Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Record  Series. 

Vol.  L  — "Rental  of  Halifax,  1439." 

Vol.  IIL— "The   Architecture   of    the    Church  of    St.    John    the    Baptist, 
Halifax,"  by  Fairless  Barber. 


the  growth  of  halifax  trade gilds — fairs 

ulnagers  accounts — 1473,  Halifax  leads  the  west  riding 



The  nmnber  of  timbered  houses  in  the  parish  and  the 
building  of  the  stately  parish  church  are  visible  proofs 
that  the  people  were  prosperous,  and  that  the  woollen 

GILDS.  79 

trade  was  expanding.  The  natural  advantages  offered  by 
the  hills  were  a  bountiful  supply  of  good  water,  and  coal 
for  fuel.  Coal  crops  out  in  places  on  the  hill-sides  around 
Halifax,  and  was  worked  in  early  times.  The  supply  oi 
fuel  was  a  difficulty  for  the  weavers  and  tradesmen  who 
lived  in  cities,  and  the  men  of  York  complained  that 
Halifax  had  a  great  advantage  in  cheap  fuel.  But  the 
real  reason  of  the  growth  of  the  local  industry  was  that 
there  were  no  gilds  in  Halifax  parish.  The  trade  of  the 
middle  ages  was  controlled  to  a  large  extent  by  gilds. 
The  weavers'  gild  at  York  or  Beverley  had  strict  rules 
about  all  details  of  the  trade.  The  gild  decided  how  long 
an  apprentice  had  to  serve  and  the  number  of  apprentices 
a  man  might  have.  Their  officials  inspected  the  work- 
shops and  looms ;  they  also  examined  the  cloth  and  fixed 
prices.  Strangers  were  not  allowed  to  work  at  the  trade, 
and  no  man  might  commence  in  the  business  unless  the 
gild  admitted  him  as  a  member  of  the  craft.  For  these 
monopolies,  the  gilds  paid  large  sums  of  money  to  the 
king,  while  in  return,  the  king  protected  the  gilds. 
Export  trade  to  the  Continent  and  elsewhere  was  under 
the  control  of  the  great  gilds  of  Merchant  Adventurers. 
Where  there  was  no  gild,  there  were  no  restrictions, 
consequently  the  weavers  of  the  cities  had  cause  to 
complain  of  the  unfair  competition  of  Halifax  clothiers. 

Fortunately  for  the  trade  of  Halifax,  although  the 
organised  channels  of  commerce  were  closed  to  weavers 
outside  the  gilds,  there  were  other  markets.  The  great 
fairs  were  open  to  everybody  without  restrictions,  and 
the  kerseys  of  Halifax  were  taken  to  these  fairs.  In  the 
fifteenth  century,  the  Common  Council  of  London  were 
defeated  in  an  attempt  to  prevent  their  citizens  carrying 
goods    from    London    to    the    fairs,    and    the    Merchant 


Adventurers  of  London  also  failed  to  stop  private  traders 
attending  the  great  foreign  fairs.  The  gilds  obtained  a 
law  to  restrict  trading  by  retail  in  cities,  but  a  clause 
was  inserted  "except  it  be  in  open  fairs." 

John  Stead  of  Norland  in  his  will  (1540)  bequeathed 
20s.  to  his  brother  Thomas  "to  be  good  to  Elizabeth,  my 
wife,  and  Agnes,  my  daughter,  as  to  sell  their  cloth  in 
the  fairs  in  Yorkshire."  William  Hardy  of  Heptonstall 
(1518),  Henry  Farrar  of  Halifax  (1542),  and  Thomas 
Stansfield  of  Higgin-chamber,  Sowerby  (1564),  make 
mention  in  their  wills  of  booths  in  St.  Bartholomew's 
Fair  in  London.  This  was  the  most  important  cloth  fair 
and  many  of  the  Halifax  clothiers  owned  stands  in  that 
fair.  The  greatest  fair  in  England  was  Sturbridge  Fair 
near  Cambridge.  Though  we  have  no  actual  record  of 
Halifax  men  journeying  there  in  the  fifteenth  and 
sixteenth  centuries,  it  is  very  probable  that  their  cloth 
was  sold  in  the  Duddery  there.  Duds  is  an  old  English 
word  for  cloth.  Fairs  held  an  important  place  in  trade 
for  many  centuries.  Li  1724,  when  Daniel  Defoe  visited 
Sturbridge  Fair,  he  was  told  that  £100,000  worth  of 
woollen  manufactures  were  sold  in  a  week's  time.  "Here 
are  clothiers"  he  wrote,  "from  Halifax,  Leeds,  Wakefield, 
and  Huddersfield  in  Yorkshire." 

About  the  year  1475,  Halifax  produced  more  cloth 
than  any  other  parish  in  the  West  Riding,  and  kept  the 
premier  position  for  more  than  three  centuries.  Mr. 
Lister  discovered  that  fact  in  the  Ulnagers'  Accounts 
preserved  in  the  Public  Records  Office,  London.  Cloth 
was  measured  by  the  ell  in  those  days,  an  ell  beiEg  45 
inches  in  length.  The  Latin  name  for  "ell"  is  "ulna," 
and  the  "  ulnage  "  was  the  fee  paid  for  measuring  the 
cloth.     The  ulnagers  were  the  officials  who  examined  the 

ULN  AGE.  8 1 

pieces  to  see  that  they  were  of  the  standard  width  and 
weight.  They  affixed  a  copper  seal  to  each  cloth  that 
they  passed,  for  which  one  half-penny  was  charged.  At 
the  same  time,  the  ulnager  collected  the  king's  subsidy, 
or  tax  on  the  cloth,  which  was  a  few  pence  per  piece. 
The  subsidy  had  been  granted  to  the  king  in  lieu  of  an 
old  tax  on  wool.  Edward  I.  in  1275  levied  a  duty  of 
6s.  8d.  on  every  sack  of  wool  sent  out  of  the  kingdom. 
At  that  time,  England  sent  a  large  amount  of  wool  to 
the  Continent,  which  the  men  of  Flanders  wove  into 
cloth,  just  as  Australia  to-day,  sends  her  wool  to  England 
to  be  manufactured.  With  the  growth  of  the  English 
cloth  trade,  the  export  of  wool  decreased;  the  wool  tax 
yielded  less  money,  so  the  subsidy  on  cloth  was  intro- 
duced to  make  up  the  deficit  in  the  king's  treasury.  The 
Ulnagers'  Accounts  are  written  on  a  narrow  roll  of 
parchment,  and  the  roll  is  preserved  in  its  original  quaint 
leathern  bag,  lettered  on  the  outside. 

There  is  an  account  for  the  West  Biding  dated 
1396-7,  but  Halifax  is  not  mentioned.  Wakefield  is 
credited  with  173 J  cloths,  but  as  some  of  the  names 
in  that  account,  such  as  Holds  worth,  are  local  surnames, 
it  is  possible  that  Halifax  cloths  were  included  in  that 
total  because  they  were  made  within  the  manor  of 
Wakefield.  Another  ulnage  roll  deals  with  the  year 
1469-70  and  Halifax  had  853J  cloths  sealed,  while 
Kipon  tops  the  West  Eiding  hst  with  889.  The  next 
account  is  for  1471  to  1473.  Ripon  is  first  with  1897, 
Halifax  second  with  1518|^,  Leeds,  third  with  only 
3 55 J,  and  Bradford  is  seventh  with  125|-  pieces.  In 
the  very  next  list  1473-1475  Halifax  becomes  first  with 
1488|-  cloths  and  the  ulnage  and  subsidy  totalled  almost 
twenty-five  pounds.     Ripon,  1386 J  was  second  ;    Leeds, 


320,  fourth;  and  Bradford  was  sixth  with  178J.  Mr. 
Lister  compared  the  output  of  the  West  Riding  with 
the  famous-cloth  producing  county  of  Gloucester.  That 
county  (leaving  out  the  city  of  Gloucester)  had  only 
1024  pieces  sealed  in  1479  against  2586  for  the  West 
Biding.  In  1475  when  the  parish  of  Halifax  paid  the 
tax  on  1488|-  cloth,  the  city  of  York  had  a  total  of 
2346^  pieces.  These  figures  also  show  how  the  trade  of 
Halifax  fluctuated  during  those  nine  years.  Although 
Halifax  was  doing  better  than  many  woollen  centres,  it 
had  its  bad  years.  If  we  turn  to  English  history,  we 
find  that  these  were  troublous  years.  The  battle  of 
Stamford  was  fought  in  1470,  and  in  the  same  year, 
Edward  IV.  was  obliged  to  flee  to  Holland  for  a  short 
time.  The  battles  of  Barnet  and  Tewkesbury  in  1471 
were  victories  for  Edward.  Though  the  fighting  was 
always  far  away  from  Halifax,  the  war  had  a  bad 
effect  on  trade.  For  many  a  summer,  it  would  not  be 
safe  to  send  goods  to  St.  Bartholomew's  Fair  and 
the  clothmakers  would  lose  many  of  their  markets. 
We  may  consider  the  church  tower  as  a  monument  of 
that  period  when  Halifax  took  the  first  place  in  the 
West  Riding  cloth  trade.  So  long  as  the  tower  held 
*'  the  mastery  of  the  air  "  Halifax  maintained  its  position. 
When  mill  chimneys  came  to  be  built  to  rival  the  church 
tower  in  height,  Halifax,  as  we  shall  see  later,  had  to 
surrender  its  proud  position  in  the  West  Riding  trade. 

So  little  is  known  of  the  early  traders  that  the  few 
details,  preserved  in  the  stock-list  of  a  York  tailor, 
are  most  precious.  In  1485  John  Carter  of  York  had 
in  stock  : — 

9^  ells  called  Halifax-tawny  at  7d. 
7 J  ells  Halifax  green,   6s. 

THE  WILLS.  83 

2  J  ells  in  '  remelandes  Halifax '   2s. 

7^  ells  Halifax  russet  3s.   6d. 

2  ells  black  Halifax  carsay  20d. 

I  dozen  pairs  of  boots  of  Halifax  cloth   15s. 
The    importance  of   the  cloth   trade    is  the   subject 
of   some    quaint    verses,    of   the    time    of   Edward    IV., 
entitled  Libel  of  English  Policy. 

*'  For  every  man  must  have  meat,  drink,  and  cloth; 
There  is  neither  pope,  emperor   nor  king. 
Bishop,  cardinal,  or  any  man  living. 
Of  what  condition,  or  what  manner  degree, 
During  their  living,  they  must  have  things  three, 
Meat,  drink,  and  cloth." 

The  cloth  trade  was  by  far  the  greatest  trade  in  the 
country,  in  fact,  it  was  the  only  national  trade.  Other 
craftsmen — carpenters,  smiths,  &c.,  supplied  local  de- 
mands, but  the  weavers  made  their  goods  for  distant 
parts.  The  weavers'  gild  was  always  the  leading  gild 
of  the  city. 

The  building  of  the  church  and  the  erection  of 
numerous  timbered  houses  testify  to  the  expansion  of 
Halifax  trade,  but  the  growth  is  also  expressed  in  many 
other  interesting  ways.  We  may  fill  in  some  of  these 
details  from  a  study  of  the  wills.  Every  man,  who  had 
any  property,  made  bis  will.  There  is  a  huge  collection 
of  these  local  wills,  preserved  at  York  and  from  these, 
may  be  gleaned,  many  things  about  the  men  who  made 
them  and  about  the  world  they  lived  in.  Men  left 
their  will-making  until  they  were  on  their  death-bed, 
the  wills  usually,  being  dated  within  a  week  of  their 
death.  Vicar  Wilkinson  made  his  will  three  years 
before  he  died,  so  we  conclude  from  that,  that  he  was 
an  invalid  for  the  last  three  or  four  years  of  his  life. 
The    actual    writing    of    the    will    was    invariably   done 


by  a  priest,  because  very  few  laymen  could  write. 
It  was  the  custom  for  a  man  to  leave  his  best  horse  or 
cow,  to  the  vicar,  as  a  burial  fee,  and  some  few  shillings 
for  church  repairs.  Next,  he  would  mention  a  sum  for 
candles  to  be  lighted  in  the  church  on  the  day  of  the 
funeral,  and  if  he  could  afford,  money  would  be  given 
for  a  priest  to  sing  masses  on  his  soul's  behalf.  If 
the  man  was  rich,  he  might  bequeath  a  farm,  the  rent 
of  which  would  maintain  such  a  service  for  ever.  Some 
left  suflficient  money  to  build  an  addition  to  the  parish 
church,  a  small  side  chapel  in  which  their  own  priest 
might  hold  services  in  memory  of  the  donor.  In  June 
1494,  John  Willeby  endowed  such  a  chantry  in  Halifax 
Church.  The  doorway  beneath  the  middle  window 
on  the  south  side  of  the  chancel  was  the  entrance  to 
the  Willeby  Chantry  Chapel. 

About  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century,  these 
religious  bequests  took  a  new  form.  The  people  of 
Sowerby,  Illingworth,  Stansfield,  Shelf,  and  other  out- 
lying townships  were  increasing  in  numbers  and  wealth. 
They  considered  it  would  be  more  convenient  if  they 
could  attend  services  nearer  their  homes  instead  of 
journeying  to  Halifax,  Elland,  or  Heptonstall.  So  lands 
and  money  were  given  for  the  building  of  chapels  at 
Sowerby,  Illingworth,  Crostone,  Coley,  and  elsewhere, 
and  for  the  maintenance  of  priests  at  these  chapels. 
A  few  of  the  free  chapels — e.g.  Rastrick — were  in  exist- 
ence long  before  the  sixteenth  century.  In  other  cases, 
like  Coley,  there  had  been  a  private  chapel  at  Coley 
Hall  and  the  neighbours  would  attend  occasional  services 
there.  The  Free  Chapels  were  upheld  by  the  local 
people,  who  were  also  responsible  for  the  priest's 
stipend.     Sowerby  and  Illingworth  Chapels  were  built 


to  serve  the  townships  of  Sowerby  and  Ovenden.  In 
other  cases,  one  chapel  served  several  townships.  This 
explains  the  peculiar  situation  of  Coley  Chapel,  near 
to  the  boundaries  of  Shelf,  Northowram,  and  Hipper- 
holme,  for  the  chapel  served  parts  of  the  three 
townships.  Luddenden  Chapel  is  on  the  borders  of 
Midgley  and  Warley.  Sowerby  Bridge  Chapel  is  near 
the  junction  of  the  boundaries  of  Warley,  Skircoat, 
Norland,  and  Sowerby   townships. 

Fig.  30.— Pack  Horse  Road,  Hebden  Valley. 

Increasing  trade  meant  more  traffic  along  the  pack- 
horse  roads,  so  men  made  charitable  bequests  towards 
the  improvement  of  the  highways  and  the  building  of 
new  bridges.  The  old  bridges  were  of  wood,  liable 
to  be  swept  away  by  storms.  Lee  Bridge,  on  the 
way  to  Wheatley  was  so  rickety  that  it  was  called 
Shakehand  Brig.  In  1518,  Richard  Stanclifie  left 
£6  3s.  4d.  to  build  a  stone  bridge  in  its  place.  In 
1514,  the  bridge  at  Brighouse  was  still  a  timber  one, 
for  'John  Hanson  gave  three  trees  for  its  repair.  Forty 
years  later,  his  son  left  money  towards  replacing  the 
timber   bridge    by.  a  stone   one.       From    1517   to    1533 


several  men  mention  the  stone  bridge  of  Sowerby 
Bridge  in  their  wills.  In  1533  John  Waterhouse 
bequeathed  four  shillings  "  towards  the  battilying  "  or 
making  the  parapet,  which  show^s  that  the  bridge  w^as 
near  completion.  Hebden  Bridge  and  Luddenden  Bridge 
were  also  rebuilt  of  stone  at  this  time.  Elland  Bridge 
was  rebuilt  in  1579,  the  mason,  Bichard  Aske,  came 
from  Hope  in  Derbyshire.  The  pack-horse  causeways 
were  improved  and  paved  by  money  left  by  charitable 
persons.  John  Holdsworth,  who  lived  at  Blackledge 
in  Halifax  left  3s.  4d.  for  mending  the  highway  between 
his  house  and  the  market  place. 

From  these  wills,  we  find  that  people  had  not  so 
many  new  clothes.  John  Crabtree  (1526)  gave  to  his 
father,  a  blue  jacket,  a  leather  doublet,  a  pair  of 
stockings,  and  a  shirt.  Margaret  Broadley  (1546) 
divided  her  wardrobe  as  follows — "to  Jenet,  my  better 
gown  and  my  worse  kirtle ;  to  Isabel  my  worst  gown 
and  my  better  kirtle  ;  and  to  William's  wife  my  third 
kirtle  and  best  petticoat.  Bedclothes  were  also  named 
as  legacies.  John  Holdsworth  (1518)  left  to  Margaret 
Boyes,  three  coverlets,  one  blanket,  two  sheets,  and 
a  bedstead.  A  will  made  at  Copley  Hall  in  1533  gives 
us  an  idea  how  the  house  was  furnished.  There  were 
two  sideboards,  and  two  forms  in  the  hall,  and  in  the 
best  bedroom,  one  pair  of  great  bedstocks  (bedstead) 
and  one  great  chest.  In  this  Will,  six  draught  oxen 
are  mentioned,  for  oxen  were  used  for  ploughing. 
Horses,  cows,  sheep,  and  hives  of  bees  are  common 
bequests.  There  are  also  gifts  of  looms,  shears,  tenters, 
and  dyeing  vats.  Silver  pins,  girdles,  and  spoons  were 
left  to  the  girls  while  the  sons  received  swords,  mail 
jackets,  bow^s  and  arrows. 


The  growing  population  required  more  cultivated 
land.  From  a  set  of  old  deeds,  we  can  trace  in  detail, 
how  some  fields  were  added  near  Illing worth.  The 
farmers,  looking  around  for  more  land,  turned  to  that 
part  of  the  Wheatley  valley  that  lies  under  IlUng worth 
Edge.  If  you  stand  on  the  Edge,  overlooking  Jumples 
and  Walt  Royd,  you  have  immediately  beneath,  a  steep 
bank  covered  with  heather  and  bilberry,  and  strewn 
with  rocks.  Below  the  rough  ground,  cultivated  fields 
slope  down  to  the  stream.  The  contrast,  between  these 
smooth  green  fields  and  the  wild  moorland,  is  almost 
as  striking  as  a  view^  of  the  ocean  from  a  sea- cliff!  Once 
upon  a  time,  the  rough  land  stretched  from  the  edge 
down  to  the  stream  and  these  fields  have  been  won 
from  the  waste. 

In  1524  William  Lister  was  granted  two  acres  and 
three  roods  of  waste  land  by  Henry  Savile,  the  lord 
of  the  manor  of  Ovenden.  This  land  was  described 
as  lying  between  Illing  worth  Edge  and  Ovenden  Wood 
Brook  (east  and  west)  ;  and  Wheatley  Walls  and  the 
house  of  Richard  Wood  (south  and  north).  Lister 
commenced  to  clear  this  rough  land,  just  as  settlers  in 
the  colonies,  to-day,  clear  the  brush  or  prairie  to  make 
farms.  First  of  all,  he  picked  out  the  big  stones  and 
broke  the  larger  rocks  into  pieces.  Then  he  carried 
these  stones  to  the  edge  of  his  land  and  built  a  wall 
around  it.  The  stone  walls  in  our  district,  not  only 
serve  as  fences,  but  also  solve  the  difficulty  of  getting 
rid  of  the  surface  rocks  and  stones.  Towards  the 
eastern  end  of  the  parish,  where  surface  stone  is  not 
so  abundant,  hedges  were  planted.  Holly  was  used  for 
fences,  because  if  there  were  bad  harvests,  the  cattle 
could    feed  on    holly.     Lister  chopped  down  the  trees. 


uprooted  the  bushes  and  shrubs  and  then  dug  up  the 
land,  foot  by  foot,  until  it  was  all  turned  over.  It 
was  hard  and  slow  work,  but  it  had  to  be  done,  before 
any  crop  could  be  grown  on  the  land.  For  this  new 
field,  William  Lister  agreed  to  pay  four  silver  pennies 
per  acre  yearly — half  at  the  feast  of  Pentecost  and 
half  at  the  feast  of  St.  Martin,  in  winter.  He  also 
promised  to  obey  the  Ovenden  manor  court  and  to 
use  only  the  lord's  mills.  The  next  year,  1525,  Lister 
took  another  acre.  In  1532,  he  reclaimed  one  rood 
from  the  waste.  In  1535,  the  grant  was  three  acres, 
and  in  1542,  one  and  a  quarter  acres.  So  far  as  we 
can  tell,  in  18 J  years,  William  Lister  added  8 J  acres 
to  his  farm.  The  small  quantities  show  how  dijB&cult 
was  the  work  of  making  corn  fields  and  meadows  from 
the  moorland. 

Standing  on  Illingworth  Edge,  you  will  look  down 
on  these  fields  with  more  interest.  We  know  their 
age  and  the  name  of  the  man,  one  of  the  ancestors 
of  the  Listers  of  Shibden  Hall,  who  first  tilled  them. 
This  is  a  sample  of  what  was  being  done  in  other  parts 
of  Ovenden.  In  the  three  score  years,  1521  to  1581, 
280  acres  were  enclosed  from  the  waste.  Exactly  the 
same  change  was  being  wrought  all  over  the  Halifax 

"History  of  the  Woollen  Trade  in  the  Halifax  and  Bradford  District." — 
J.  Lister.     (Bradford  Antiquary,  Vol.  II.) 

'•  Halifax  Wills."  Vols.  I  and  H.  (1389-1559).  Edited  by  J.  W.  Ulay 
and  E.  W.  CrOSSLEY. 

"The  Jnmples." — T.  W.  HANSON.  (Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Trans- 
actions,  1912.) 





AT      KIRK      SANDAL      AND     HALIFAX — DR.      ROBT.      HOLDSWORTH— FEUD 




The  last  additions  made  to  the  Parish  Church  were 
the  Rokeby  Chapel  and  the  Holdsworth  Chapel.  They 
commemorate  two  vicars  who  served  Halifax  Church  for 
the  first  half  of  the  sixteenth  century.  William  Rokeby 
was  born  at  Kirk  Sandal  near  Doncaster.  .  He  became 
A^icar  of  the  church  there,  one  of  the  churches  included 
in  the  Warren's  grant  to  the  Priory  of  Lewes.  In  the 
summer  of  1502,  he  left  Kirk  Sandal  and  came  to 
Halifax,  retaining  the  Vicarage  of  Halifax  until  his 
death  in  1521.  He  was  a  man  of  influence  and  wealth. 
In  1507  he  was  elected  Bishop  of  Neath  in  Ireland,  and 
in  1511  became  Archbishop  of  Dublin.  However,  he 
still  retained  Halifax  Church,  and  we  judge  that  he 
liked  our  town  and  spent  much  of  his  time  here,  for  he 
beautified  much  of  the  vicarage  house.  We  are  also 
told  that  Rokeby  "  was  a  Man  of  Great  Hospitality,  and 
therefore  had  the  whole  of  the  parish  at  his  Beck  and 
Command."  Bokeby  is  an  interesting  character  because 
he  played  a  prominent  part  in  the  gorgeous  pageantry 
of  Henry  VIII. 's  reign.  Some  of  the  Halifax  men  who 
went  with  him  as  servants  to  London,  would  have  some 
wonderful  tales  to  tell  of  the  great  men  at  Court. 

When  Wolsey  received  the  Cardinal's  Hat  at  West- 
minster Abbey  on  Sunday,  November  18th,  1515,  the 
Cardinal  came  with  a  procession  of  nobles  and  gentlemen 



Photo.  H.  E.  Gledhill. 

Fig.  31.— The  Rokkky  Chapkl. 



to  the  abbey  and  mass  was  sung  by  the  Archbishops  of 
Canterbury,  Armagh,  and  DubHn,  and  sixteen  other 
bishops  and  abbots.  The  famous  Dr.  John  Colet,  Dean 
of  St.  Paul's,  preached  the  sermon.       Afterwards,  there 

Fig.  32.— Arms  of  William  Rokkbv,  Archbishop  of  Dublin. 

was  another  procession  of  all  the  great  noblemen  of 
England,  led  by  the  Dukes  of  Norfolk  and  Sufiolk, 
followed  by  the  archbishops,  bishops,  and  abbots. 
Cardinal   Wolsey's  hall  and  chambers  were  hung  with 


rich  arras,  and  a  great  feast  was  made,  at  which  King 
Henry  and  his  queen,  and  the  French  queen  were 

Archbishop  Rokeby  was  in  London  again,  three 
months  later,  for  the  christenmg  of  Princess  Mary — the 
httle  baby  girl  who  was  destined  to  be  Queen  Mary. 
'J'he  princess  was  born  in  the  palace  at  Greenwich.  From 
the  court-gate  to  the  church -door  of  the  Friars,  an  awning 
of  arras  was  erected,  and  the  path  covered  with  sand  and 
strewn  with  rushes.  The  church  was  hung  with  needle- 
work, enriched  with  precious  stones  and  pearls.  The 
ceremony  was  on  Wednesday,  February  21st,  1516. 
The  procession  was  headed  by  a  goodly  •  sight  of 
gentlemen  and  lords ;  then  followed  the  Duke  of  Devon- 
shire bearing  the  basin  ;  the  Earl  of  Surrey  carrying  the 
taper ;  the  Marquis  of  Dorset  having  the  salt ;  and  the 
Lord  Chamberlain  and  the  Lord  Steward.  The  canopy 
was  earned  by  four  knights,  under  which  walked  the 
Countess  of  Surrey  with  the  Princess  in  her  arms,  and 
supported  by  the  Dukes  of  Norfolk  and  SuflPolk.  The 
Archbishops  of  Armagh  and  Dublin,  and  the  Bishops 
of  Durham  and  Chester  officiated  at  the  baptism.  The 
procession  returned  with  trumpets  sounding  and  the 
king's  chaplain  singing  melodious  n^sponds. 

William  Rokeby  did  not  live  to  see  the  great  changes 
that  the  names  of  Cardinal  Wolsey,  Henry  VIII.,  and 
Princess  Mary  suggest  to  us.  Fearing  his  end  he  made 
farewell  gifts  to  the  Prior  and  Convent  of  Dublin 
Cathedral  in  September,  1521.  The  dying  archbishop 
crossed  the  sea  to  his  native  Yorkshire.  On  November 
29th,  he  died  in  Halifax  vicarage,  lulled  to  sleep  by  the 
murmur  of  the  moorland  beck.  In  his  day,  Halifax  was 
as  quiet  and  peaceful  as  Burnsall  in  Wharfedale  is  to-day. 



Fig.  33.— RoKEBY  Chapel  Screen. 

Photo.  G.  Hepu'orth. 


His  heart  was  buried  in  the  choir  at  Hahfax,  and  his 
body  taken  to  Kirk  Sandal,  where  Rokeby  had  built  a 
beautiful  chapel  for  his  tomb.  The  carving  of  the  oak 
screens  is  like  delicate  filigree  work,  and  the  Rokeby 
Chapel  of  Kirk  Sandal  is  considered  to  be  one  of  the 
finest  sepulcharal  chapels  in  the  kingdom.  Among  his 
many  bequests,  the  archbishop  desired  that  a  Rokeby 
Chapel  should  be  erected  at  Halifax,  and  his  chapel  was 
added  to  the  north  side  of  the  Church. 

Soon  after  Archbishop  liokeby's  death,  Robert 
Holdsworth,  the  son  of  a  rich  Halifax  man,  was 
presented  to  the  living  of  Halifax,  by  the  Prior  of 
Lewes,  being  the  last  vicar  to  be  nominated  by  the 
monks.  In  accordance  with  his  father's  wish,  he  built 
a  chantry  chapel  on  the  south  side  of  the  church.  The 
detached  buttresses  and  clumsy  gargoyles  of  the  chapel 
have  little  architectural  merit,  but  the  Holdsworth 
Chapel,  like  the  Rokeby  Chapel,  is  a  monument  of  an 
age  that  has  passed. 

Robert  Holdsworth  was  educated  at  Oxford  and 
Rome,  where  he  attracted  the  notice  of  the  Bishop 
of  Worcester — an  Italian  who  was  Henry  VIII.'s 
ambassador  at  the  Popal  Court.  Holdsworth  became 
chancellor  of  the  diocese  of  Worcester  and  also  received 
other  valuable  appointments.  There  is  one  interesting 
point  worth  noting  about  his  rebuilding  of  the  vicarage 
house  at  Blockley  in  Worcestershire.  It  had  twelve 
chambers,  and  it  was  considered  quite  a  novelty,  that 
each  bedroom  had  its  own  entrance  from  the  landing;. 
It  was  the  usual  custom  then,  to  go  through  the 
bedrooms,  one  after  another,  and  not  to  have  a  passage. 
Dr.  Holdsworth's  new  plan  gave  more  privacy.  In 
pulling  down  an  old  w^all  at  Blockley,  a  treasure  trove 



of  three  hundred  pounds  was  found,  which  more  than 
paid  for  the  alterations. 


Yicar  Holdsworth  had  few  peaceful  days  after  he 
came  to  Halifax.  It  was  a  time  of  fierce  strife  and 
great  disputes,  and  the  vicar  was  dragged  into  the 
troubles.  First,  there  was  a  feud  between  the  men  who 
lived  within  the  manor  of  Wakefield,  and  those  who 
were  tenants  of  the  honour  of  Pontel'ract.  The  rival 
leaders  were  Sir  Richard  Tempest  of  Boiling  Hall,  near 
Bradford,  and  Sir  Harry  Savile  of  Thornhill.  Sir 
Bichard  Tempest  had  been  one  of  King  Henry's  body- 
guard and  had  distinguished  himself  at  the  battles  of 
Flodden  and  Tournay.  He  held  the  post  of  steward  of 
the  great  royal  manor  of  Wakefield.  Sir  Harry  Savile 
had  been  brought  up  in  King  Henry's  court,  and  was 
made  a  Knight  of  the  Bath  at  the  coronation  of  Queen 
Anne  Boleyn.  He  was  steward  of  the  honour  of 
Pontefract,  and  also  lord  of  some  of  the  small  manors 
about  Halifax. 

There  were  several  serious  afirays  between  the 
followers  of  the  contending  knights,  in  which  men  were 
killed  on  both  sides.  Boger  Tempest  slew  Thomas 
Longley  with  his  sword  on  April  21st,  1518,  at 
Brighouse,  when  Sir  Bichard  Tempest  was  holding  his 
court  there.  Boger  fled  to  Durham  and  sought 
sanctuary  at  the  cathedral.  The  priests  could  keep  him 
in  safety  for  forty  days,  after  which  time  he  had  either 
to  appear  before  a  judge  or  else  quit  the  kingdom. 
Gilbert  Brooksbank,  a  Heptonstall  priest,  was  killed  by 
one  of  Sir  Bichard's  officers  because  he  had  displeased, 
in  some  manner,  the  great  man.  There  was  a  fight  at 
Halifax  Fair  on  Midsummer  Day,  1533,  when  Gilbert 
Hanson,  deputy  bailiff*  of  Hahfax,  and  William  Biding 
of  Elland  (one  of  Savile's  men)  struck  one  another,  both 
dying  from  their  wounds.      There  were  other  cases,  but 


these  are  sufficient  to  show  the  bitter  enmity  between 
the  two  parties.  Di\  Holdsworth  took  Savile's  side,  in 
consequence  of  which  his  vicarage  was  pillaged  three  or 
four  times,  and  he  was  badly  treated. 

Fig.  35.— Sa VILE  Badge.  Tempest  Badge. 

The  feud  between  the  men  who  wore  the  Savile  crest 
— an  owl,  and  the  men  who  bore  the  Tempest  badge — a 
griffin,  became  a  much  more  serious  quarrel  after 
October  1536,  when  the  two  parties  took  opposite  sides 
in  a  great  national  dispute.  King  Henry  closed  all  the 
smaller  monasteries — those  whose  income  did  not  exceed 
£200  a  year — and  seized  their  possessions.  In  the  north 
of  England  "  these  proceedings  were  regarded  with  a 
spirit  of  indignation  which  did  not  venture  to  express 
itself  elsewhere."  The  rebellion  commenced  in  Lincoln- 
shire and  on  Sunday,  October  8th,  there  was  a  meeting 
of  the  commons  in  the  Chapter  House  of  Lincoln 
Cathedral.  The  word  "commons"  means  people,  just 
as  we  call  part  of  our  Parliament  the  House  of  Commons. 
Into  the  meeting  came  two  Halifax  men,  who  said  their 
country  was  also  up,  and  ready  to  aid  Lincolnshire,  and 
the  news  roused  the  commons  to  great  excitement. 
Robej^t  Aske,  a  Yorkshireman,  was  the  captain  of  the 
insurgents,  and  the  rising  is  known  as  the  Pilgrimage  of 
Grace.  Those  who  joined  the  movement  bore  a  badge 
representing  the  Five  Wounds  of  Christ.  In  the  centre 
of  the  badge  was  a  bleeding  heart,  and  at  the  four 
corners,  pierced  hands  and  feet. 


The  following  scene  was  witnessed  in  the  streets  of 
Halifax.  A  group  of  men  were  standing  talking 
together,  when  up  came  John  Lacy,  son-in-law  and 
bailiff  of  Sir  Richard  Tempest,  and  spoke  to  Henry 
Farrer  of  Ewood  Hall,  who  was  one  of  the  group.  Lacy 
"  commanded  Farrer  and  the  rest  that  they  should 
prepare  themselves  in  harness,  and  go  to  the  church  and 
take  the  cross,  march  with  it  into  Lancashire  and  raise 
the  commons  there."  Farrer  asked  "Who  shall  go  with 
us  into  Lancashire  with  the  cross?"  Lacy  replied 
"Marry!  your  ownself  shall  go  and  your  company." 
Farrar  again  asked  "Why  will  not  Sir  Richard  Tempest 
go  with  us  ?  "     Lacy  said  "  No  marry!  but  yourself." 

We  have  no  particulars  about  this  journey  into 
Lancashire,  but  afterwards  it  was  stated  that  Sir 
Richard  Tempest's  brother  and  servants  were  the  first 
captains  to  come  into  Lancashire. 

Sir  Henry  Savile,  gathering  his  tenants  and  retainers 
together  for  the  other  side,  marched  from  Thornhill  to 
join  the  King's  forces  at  Nottingham.  The  rebels  were 
too  strong  for  the  royal  army,  and  therefore  the  Duke  of 
Norfolk  came  to  terms  with  them,  published  the  King's 
pardon,  made  a  truce,  and  so  ended  the  Pilgrimage  of 
Grace.  The  day  before  the  truce  was  made,  on  October 
26th,  John  Lacy  and  a  band  of  his  adherents  made  a 
raid  on  Halifax  vicarage,  looting  it  and  sending  part  of 
the  spoil  to  Captain  Robert  Aske.  Vicar  Holds  worth 
took  the  side  of  Sir  Henry  Savile,  not  because  he 
approved  of  the  spoiling  of  the  monasteries,  but  because 
of  the  local  feud.  On  December  14th,  1536,  Clarencieux 
King-at-Arms,  the  royal  herald,  stood  at  the  Cross  in 
Old  Market  and  proclaimed  the  King's  pardon  to  all  who 


had  rebelled  against  their  sovereign.      The  herald  noted 
that  John  Lacy  was  in  the  crowd  at  the  time. 

The  King's  Secretary,  Thomas  Cromwell,  had  such  a 
system  of  spies  that  we  find  that  private  talks  in  such  an 
out-of-the-way  corner  as  Halifax  came  to  the  ear  of  the 
King.  Vicar  Holdsworth  was  walking  to  and  fro  in  his 
parlour,  discussing  the  times  with  his  servant,  William 
Rodeman,  when  he  said  "By  my  troth !  William,  if  the  King 
reign  any  space  he  will  take  all  from  us  of  the  Church  ;  all 
that  we  have ;  and  therefore  I  pray  God  send  him  short 
reign."  The  vicar  had  to  appear  in  London,  and  was 
heavily  fined  for  uttering  such  treacherous  words. 

John  Lacy  of  Cromwell  Bottom  made  a  rhyme  about 
the  King,  and  sent  it  to  Robert  Waterhouse  of  Halifax. 

"  As  for  the  King,  an  apple  and  a  fair  wench 
to  dally  withal,  would  please  him  very  well." 

To  US,  there  does  not  appear  much  rhyme  nor  much 
harm  in  the  words,  but  they  reached  Thomas  Cromwell, 
and  Lacy  was  in  danger  of  losing  his  head.  It  was  an 
age  of  sneaks  and  tell-tales,  and  Savile's  men  were  ready 
to  tell  Cromwell's  spies  tales  about  the  other  side,  and 
Tempest's  men  were  equally  willing  to  damage  their 
opponents  in  the  same  way. 

Henry  VHI.  did  not  keep  his  promises  to  redress 
the  grievances  of  the  men  who  had  joined  the  Pilgrimage 
of  Grace.  Listead  of  doing  so,  he  put  to  death  the 
leaders  of  the  rebellion.  Sir  Richard  Tempest  was 
thrown  into  the  Tower  to  await  his  trial,  but  he  died  in 
that  plague-stricken  prison.  The  King  proceeded  with 
the  spoliation  of  the  monasteries,  and  he  gave  to  Thomas 
Cromwell,  the  Priory  of  Lewes  and  all  its  possessions, 
excepting  its  Norfolk  lands.  The  beautiful  abbey  was 
ruthlessly   destroyed,   the   stone   sold    for  building,  the 


lead  roofs  melted  down  and  carted  away.  Giovanni 
Portinari,  an  Italian,  superintended  the  work,  and  he 
tells  how  they  hewed  great  holes  in  the  walls,  then 
propped  the  pillars  and  walls  with  props  a  yard  long, 
finally  setting  fire  to  the  props  whereupon  the  building- 
came  crashing  down. 

Lord  Cromwell  thus  came  into  possession  of  all  the 
rights  that  the  Prior  of  Lewes  had  in  Halifax  Parish. 
Thus  the  connection  between  Plalifax  and  Lewes  that 
had  continued  for  centuries  came  to  its  final  end.  A  few 
years  before  this,  the  Prior  had  leased  his  rights  to 
Kobert  Waterhouse  of  Shibden  Hall  for  a  fixed  sum  of 
money  to  be  paid  yearly  and  Cromwell  continued  the 

Robert  Waterhouse  stirred  up  a  great  dispute  in  the 
parish  by  his  methods  of  collecting  the  Great  Tithes. 
According  to  the  original  definition  of  tithes,  the  Church 
was  entitled  to  one-tenth  of  the  crops  of  corn  and  hay. 
But  as  time  went  on,  this  had  been  altered  to  a  fixed 
sum  of  money  that  was  paid  whether  the  crops  were 
good  or  bad.  The  farmer  knew  exactly  what  he  would 
have  to  pay,  and  the  monks  had  a  certain  income. 
Waterhouse  sued  some  Halifax  men  for  a  tenth  of  their 
actual  crops,  and  a  great  lawsuit  was  commenced. 
Gilbert  Waterhouse  picked  a  quarrel  with  George 
Crowther,  one  of  the  men  who  opposed  the  demands, 
and  on  a  dark  February  night  in  1535,  Gilbert  struck 
Crowther  with  a  dagger  and  killed  him.  At  length  the 
Great  Tithes  dispute  was  settled,  and  the  agreement  for 
paying  in  money  instead  of  in  "  kind "  was  read  at  a 
public  meeting  held  in  Halifax  Church. 

Edward  YI.  was  only  nine  years  old  when  he 
succeeded    to    the    throne   on    the  death   of  his  father. 


Henry  VIII.  The  boy-king's  counsellors  made  further 
great  changes  in  tho  church  now  that  the  Pope's 
supremacy  had  been  abolished.  The  chantry  chapels 
were  closed  and  their  lands  confiscated.  This  was  a 
great  hardship  for  our  parish,  for  Rastrick,  Coley, 
Sowerby,  Lightcliffe,  and  the  other  chapels  were  shut  up, 
and  Heptonstall  Chapel  was  only  spared  through  the 
influence  of  the  Saviles.  The  Parish  Church  at  Halifax 
had  once  again  to  serve  our  wide  and  hilly  parish  and  a 
population  calculated  at  10,000. 

Dr.  Robert  Holdsworth  lived  to  see  Queen  Mary  on 
the  throne.  Though  he  had  taken  the  King's  side 
during  the  tremendous  upheaval  in  the  Church,  he 
certainly  was  not  one  of  the  reforming  clergymen.  His 
enemies  said  at  one  time  that  he  "hath  not  preached  nor 
caused  to  be  preached  to  his  parishoners  at  Halifax,  ten 
thousand  people  or  more,  the  word  of  God,  but  only  two 
times  at  the  most  these  six  years  past."  In  November, 
1538,  Robert  Ferrar,  Prior  of  St.  Oswald's  at  Nostell, 
writing  to  Lord  Cromwell,  says  'Hhat  there  be  almost 
none  in  these  parts  that  sincerely,  plainly,  and  diligently 
preach  the  Gospel,  the  people  so  hungrily  desire  to  hear 
and  to  learn.  Truly  these  towns  (Halifax  and  seven 
more  are  named)  with  many  others  have  not,  all,  one 
faithful  preacher  that  I  can  hear  of." 

About  eleven  o'clock  on  a  Saturday  night,  the  8th  of 
May,  1556,  the  vicarage  was  pillaged  for  the  fifth  time 
and  the  aged  priest  brutally  murdered.  Dr.  Holdsworth 
was  buried  in  the  south  chapel,  of  the  Parish  Church, 
which  he  had  built. 

Robert  Ferrar,  the  last  Prior  of  Nostell,  is  said  to 
have  been  born  at  Ewood  near  Mytholmroyd.  He  was 
one  of  the  Reformers,  and  became  Bishop  of  St.  David's 


in  Wales  in  1548.  Bishop  Ferrar  was  one  of  the  martyrs 
in  Queen  Mary's  reign,  and  was  burnt  at  Caermarthen 
Cross  on  March  30th,  1555.  On  being  chained  to  the 
stake,  he  said  "  If  I  stir  through  the  pains  of  my 
burning,  believe  not  the  doctrine  I  have  preached."  In 
Halifax  Parish  Church,  there  is  a  19th  century  monument 
to  Bishop  Ferrar,  carved  by  Leyland,  a  Halifax  sculptor, 
and  in  the  vestry  is  a  deed  relating  to  some  property 
near  Bradford,  which  has  the  Bishop's  signature. 

"Archbishop  Rokeby,"  by  T.  W.  HANSON,       (Halifax  Antiquarian  Society 
Transactions,   1918). 

"Life  of  Dr.   Holdsworth, "  by  J.  Lister  (Halifax  Antiquarian  Society 

Transactions — 1902  to  1908), 





Beacon  Hill,  crowned  with  the  reproduction  of  an 
ancient  beacon-pan,  continually  reminds  Halifax  of 
Elizabethan  days  and  the  Armada.  Southowram's 
Beacon  was  not  in  the  principal  chain  of  fires  that 
passed  on  the  news  from  the  south, 

"Till  Skiddaw  saw  the  fire  that  burned  on  Gaunt's  embattled  pile, 
And  the  red  glare  on  Skiddaw  roused  the  burghers  of  Carlisle." 

But  it  helped  to  spread  the  alarm  east  and  west. 
Revey  Beacon  at  Hortoii  Bank  Top,  near  Bradford  ; 
Castle  Hill,  Almondbury,  near  Huddersfield ;  and 
Blackstone  Edge  were  the  neighbouring  links  in  the 
great  chain,  and  watchers  on  Beacon  Hill  would  keep 
their  eyes  on  those  points. 


Eight  years  after  the  great  victory  over  the  Spanish 
Armada,  we  find  that  HaUfax  men  were  objecting  to 
paying  towards  the  navy.  In  those  days  it  was 
considered  to  be  the  duty  of  the  sea-ports  to  provide  the 
defences  of  our  shores  and  shipping,  while  the  inland 
towns  maintained  the  army.  In  1596,  the  port  of  Hull 
was  required  to  furnish  a  ship  for  the  Queen's  Navy. 
The  Mayor  and  Aldermen  of  Hull  wrote  to  Lord  Cecil, 
asking  that  Halifax,  Wakefield,  and  Leeds  should  pay 
four  hundred  pounds  towards  their  ship-of-w^ar.  They 
said  that  these  places  were  thi'ee  great  and  rich  clothing 
towns,  sending  their  cloth  to  Hull  to  be  shipped  across 
the  seas.  The  navy  protected  the  shipping  and  the 
cloth  that  was  in  the  ships.  But  Halifax  men  thought 
they  were  paying  their  share  in  the  maintenance  of  the 
land  forces. 

At  the  same  time,  our  forefathers  were  ready  to 
fight  for  the  Queen  in  their  own  way,  and  when  they 
thought  it  was  their  duty.  In  1569  there  was  a 
rebellion  in  favour  of  the  old  religion  and  Mary,  Queen 
of  Scots,  which  was  called  the  Hising  in  the  North. 

j^rchbishop  Grindal,  writing  to  Queen  Elizabeth  in 
1576,  said  *' And  in  the  time  of  that  rebellion  were  not 
all  men  .  .  .  most  ready  to  offer  their  lives  for  your 
defence  ?  In-so-much  that  one  poor  parish  in  Yorkshire, 
which  by  continual  preaching  had  been  better  instructed 
than  the  rest,  (Halifax  I  mean)  was  ready  to  bring  three 
or  four  thousand  able  men  into  the  field  to  serve  you 
aofainst  the  said  rebels." 

This  "continual  preaching"  was  carried  on  by  a  long 
succession  of  Halifax  vicars  who  were  Puritans — men 
who  desired  to  remove  all  traces  of  the  old  religion  from 
their  church.     Bishop  Pilkington  Halifax  on 



August    31st,    1559,    and    "the    congregation    listened 
with  joy." 

DR.  FAVOUR.  105 

The  most  famous  of  the  vicars  of  this  period  was 
John  Favour,  who  was  at  HaHfax  for  over  thh'ty  years 
(1593-1624).  He  came  here  from  Southampton  five 
years  after  the  defeat  of  the  Armada,  and  he  was  able 
to  tell  Halifax  men  about  the  sea  and  ships,  and  stories 
of  the  great  victory.  In  his  book  he  speaks  of  striking 
top-sails,  of  top  and  top-gallant  sails,  of  boarding,  and 
other  nautical  terms.  Dr.  Favour  was  chaplain  to  the 
Earl  of  Huntingdon,  President  of  the  Council  of  the 
North.  The  Earl  was  present  in  Halifax  when  Favour 
was  admitted  to  the  vicariate.  Within  a  few  days  they 
were  both  back  at  York  on  important  business.  On 
December  6th,  15D3,  Henry  Walpole  and  two  friends 
landed  at  Flamborough  Head  with  the  intention  of 
converting  the  Queen  and  the  English  people  to  the 
Roman  Catholic  religion.  The  trio  were  caught  within 
twenty-four  hours  of  landing  and  taken  to  York. 
Walpole  was  a  Jesuit  priest  and  his  fate  was  certain  to 
be  a  horrible  death.  He  was  forced  to  debate  in  public, 
the  claims  of  his  religion,  and  Dr.  Favour  was  one  of  the 
champions  put  up  to  answer  him.  Favour  also  debated 
with  other  priests  who  were  caught  from  time  to  time. 
There  was  no  idea  of  toleration  in  Elizabeth's  reign,  and 
Dr.  Favour  in  his  book  "  Antiquity  triumphing  over 
Novelty,"  glories  in  the  part  he  took  in  sending  these 
poor  men  to  their  death.  He  actually  considers  it  his 
best  work.  The  reports  of  these  debates  are  preserved 
in  the  Records  Office,  and  the  handwriting  shows  the 
effect  of  the  torture  on  the  priests'  wrists.  From  them 
we  learn  that  Favour  wrote  witty  verse,  and  that  in  the 
kitchen  of  the  York  prison,  he  prided  himself  that  his 
face  resembled  the  portraits  of  Jesus.  There  is  a  bust  of 
the  vicar  on  his  monument  in  Halifax  Church. 


Vicar  Favour  exercised  a  great  influence  over  the 
people  of  Halifax  as  a  faithful  minister.  In  the  Registers 
he  often  adds  a  short  note  about  the  character  of  the 

Fig.  37.— Dr.  Favour's  Monument. 

men  and  women  he  buried,  sometimes  good,  sometimes 
bad,  for  example  : — 

1597,  Jan.  24 — William  King  of  Skircoat  "was  a  swearer, 
drinker  ...  his  last  words  were  oaths  and  curses." 

1600,  April  15 — Richard  Learoyd,  88  years,  honest. 

1600,  May  30 — Richard  Whitaker  of  Skircoat,  "truly  pious 
and  religious." 


In  1609,  the  vicar  buried  two  men  who  had  been  to 
church  and  were  so  vexed  at  what  the  preacher  said, 
that  they  vowed  they  would  never  come  to  church  again. 
Favour  notes  that  "  both  fell  presently  sick  and  never 
came  to  the  church  but  to  be  buried." 

Dr.  Favour  was  the  prime  mover  in  the  establishment 
of  Heath  Grammar  School.  The  Queen's  Charter  had 
been  obtained  in  1585 — over  eight  years  before  Vicar 
Favour  came  to  Halifax — but  the  school  was  not  opened 
until  1600,  and  the  vicar  had  to  work  hard  to  accomplish 
his  desire.  Its  title — "  The  Free  Grammar  School  of 
Queen  Elizabeth  " — tells  us  something  of  the  history  of 
the  school.  There  had  been  schools  in  Halifax  before 
this  time,  though  we  know  little  about  them.  But  in 
Elizabethan  times  there  yas  a  desire  to  have  new  and 
good  schools,  and  a  E-oyal  Charter  had  to  be  obtained 
before  such  a  grammar  school  could  be  erected.  This 
name  is  perpetuated  in  the  lane  known  as  Free  School 
Lane,  and  it  is  worth  noting  that  the  old  road  to  the 
school  was  up  Shaw  Hill  and  Free  School  Lane. 

Over  the  door  of  the  headmaster's  house,  facing 
Skircoat  Green  Road,  is  a  stone  which  was  removed  from 
the  old  building.  It  bears  a  Latin  inscription  which 
says  the  land  was  bad  and  barren,  but  through  the  grace 
of  Queen  Elizabeth  this  school  was  erected,  and  it  was 
hoped  it  would  be  a  blessing  to  the  people.  The  only 
other  relic  of  the  old  school  is  the  circular  "apple  and 
pear  "  window  which  has  been  rebuilt  into  the  shed  next 
to  the  school.  The  Grammar  School  was  to  serve  the 
ancient  Parish  of  Halifax,  and  was  built  in  Skircoat 
because  the  plot  of  land  was  given  by  one  of  the  first 
benefactors.  Dr.  Favour  persevered  until  he  got 
sufficient  money  to  build  the  school,  and  an  endowment 
fund  to  pay  the  schoolmaster. 


Three  hundred  years  ago,  schools  were  very  different 
from  what  they  are  nowadays.  Sphool  commenced  at 
six  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  at  nine  there  was  a 
quarter  of  an  hour's  playtime.  Then  work  went  on 
until  eleven  when  there  was  a  two  hours  interval  for 
dinner.  Lessons  were  resumed  at  one,  and  continued 
until  half  past  three,  when  another  quarter  of  an  hour 
playtime  was  given,  after  which  it  was  school  again 
until  half  past  five.      What  long  days  ! 

In  the  Brearcliffe  Manuscript,  there  is  a  copy  of  the 
rules  of  Heath  Grammar  School,  in  those  early  days. 

The  boys  were  required  to  go  early  to  the  school 
without  noise,  lingering,  or  playing  by  the  way,  taking 
off  their  caps  to  those  they  met. 

Boys  who  would  not  be  corrected,  or  complained  of 
their  correction,  or  who  told  out  of  school  of  punishment 
given,  were  to  be  expelled  unless  they  humbled  them- 
selves and  obeyed  the  master. 

Scholars  who  let  their  hair  grow  long  or  came  with 
face  and  hands  unwashed  were  to  be  severely  punished. 

Two  monitors  were  appointed  weekly  to  set  down 
the  faults  of  boys  in  the  school  or  church,  or  in  the  town 
and  highways.  Their  duty  was  to  hand  a  report  to  the 
master,  and  if  they  failed  to  do  so,  the  monitors  were 
punished  for  the  faults  of  others. 

Boys  were  not  to  use  railing,  wrangling,  nor  fighting, 
nor  were  they  to  give  nicknames  to  their  companions  or 
to  any  strangers. 

They  must  ever  have  books,  pens,  paper,  and  ink  in 
readiness,  and  must  not  rend  or  lose  their  books,  but 
handsomely  carry  and  re-carry  them. 

The  scholars  were  to  speak  in  Latin  and  not  English 
while  in  school. 


There  was  one  half-day  holiday  per  week,  and  that 
was  on  Thursday  afternoon,  but  there  was  homework  for 
that  day. 

In  these  Orders,  ''correcting  with  a  rod"  is  often 
mentioned,  for  the  boys  of  long  ago  received  plenty  of 
floggings  at  school. 

Henry  Savile,  who  was  born  at  Bradley  Hall, 
Stainlancl,  "on  November  30th,  1549,  is  one  of  the  most 
famous  men  our  parish  has  produced.  In  due  time  he 
went  to  JMerton  College  at  Oxford,  and  was  afterwards 
appointed  Greek  tutor  to  Queen  Elizabeth,  and  was  said 
to  be. the  most  learned  man  of  her  reign.  He  published 
an  edition  of  the  works  of  St.  Chrysostom  —one  of  the 
early  Christian  Fathers.  In  addition  to  a  great  amount 
of  work  and  study,  these  books  cost  him  £8,000.  Sir 
Henry  Savile  was  one  of  the  foremost  translators  of  the 
Authorised  Version  of  the  Bible  published  in  1611,  and 
being  a  Greek  scholar,  he  was  principally  engaged  on 
the  New  Testament. 

John  Bois,  a  great  Hebrew  scholar  who  translated  a 
large  portion  of  the  Old  Testament,  was  the  grandson  of 
Mr.  Bois,  a  Halifax  clothier. 

Sir  Henry  Savile  was  also  a  student  of  geometry  and 
astronomy,  and  to-day  there  is  a  professor  of  these 
subjects  in  Oxford  who  is  paid  by  the  money  that  Savile 
left  for  this  purpose. 

Another  friend  of  this  learned  and  rich  Halifax  man 
was  Henry  Briggs,  who  became  one  of  the  Savilian 
Professors  at  Oxford.  Briggs  was  born  at  Daisy  Bank, 
War  ley  Wood  in  1561.  (Daisy  Bank  Farm  is  just  below 
the  modern  Burnley  Boad,  a  few  hundred  yards  before 
you   come    to    the    first    houses   of    Luddenden    Foot). 



Henry  Briggs'  fame  is  due  to  his  association  with  the 
invention  of  logarithms.  Lord  Napier  was  the  actual 
inventor  in  1614,  but  Briggs  discovered  a  better  and 
easier  way  which  is  used  to  day  and  known  as 
"  Briggian  Logarithms."  In  1617,  Briggs  published 
the  first  table  of  logs  of  numbers  up  to  1,000.       These 

Fig.  38.— Chained  Book.    Henry  Briggs'  Gift. 

w-ere  calculated  to  14  places  of  decimals,  and  in  1624 
he  had  made  the  calculations  for  30,000  numbers. 
Astronomers,  navigators,  and  all  men  who  have  occasion 
to  multiply  or  divide  large  numbers,  in  their  calculations 
always  refer  to  a  book  of  logs,  for  it  is  as  easy  to  use  as  a 
ready  reckoner. 

Camden's  visit.  Ill 

In  1627,  Henry  Brings  presented  three  volumes  of 
De  Thou's  History  to  the  "public  library"  in  Halifax 
Parish  Church.  The  books  are  still  there  with  this 
interesting  inscription.  One  of  them  has  a  brass  plate 
to  which  was  attached  the  chains,  for,  as  in  most  old 
libraries,  the  books  were  chained  to  the  shelves.  Robert 
Clay,  who  was  vicar  from  1623  to  1628,  took  a  great 
interest  in  the  library,  and  many  volumes  were  added  at 
this  time. 

About  the  year  1580,  William  Camden,  the  antiquary, 
visited  the  Saviles  at  Bradley  Hall  when  he  was 
collecting  information  for  his  great  book  "Britannia,"  a 
description  of  England.  Some  of  his  Halifax  friends 
told  him  the  following  story  or  tradition  to  account  for 
the  name  of  Halifax.  A  certain  clergyman,  being  in 
love  with  a  young  woman  and  not  being  able  to  persuade 
her,  cut  ofi  her  head.  It  was  afterwards  hung  up  in  a 
yew  tree,  and  was  esteemed  and  visited  by  the  people  as 
holy.  So  many  pilgrims  resorted  to  the  place  that  it 
became  a  lar^e  town,  and  was  called  Hali-fax  or  Holy 
Hair.  There  is  not  one  iota  of  proof  for  the  story,  or  the 
derivation,  nor  the  slightest  hint  of  such  a  tradition  in 
any  early  accounts  of  our  town.  It  has  been  repeated 
many  times  since  Camden  wrote  it,  but  we  can  be  certain 
that  Camden  was  wrong. 

There  is  one  interesting  statement  in  the  "Britannia," 
which  is  meant  to  impress  the  reader  with  the  importance 
of  the  cloth  manufacture  in  the  district.  Camden 
asserted,  that  in  Halifax  Parish,  the  number  of  men  was 
greater  than  the  total  of  cows,  horses,  sheep,  and  other 
animals ;  while  in  the  rest  of  England  there  were  more 
animals  than  people.  This  was  because  Halifax  lived  by 
cloth  making  and  not  by  farming. 


There  are  two  valuable  references  to  the  local  trade 
in  the  sixteenth  century,  which  may  conveniently  be 
introduced  here.  About  1533,  King  Henry  VIII.  sent 
a  commission  to  the  clothing  towns  of  the  West  Hiding 
to  enquire  into  the  practice  of  mixing  flocks  with  the 
wool  of  their  cloths.  In  the  list  of  men  charged  with 
this  offence  are  the  names  of  282  clothiers  in  the  parish 
of  Halifax,  who  had  from  half-a-piece  to  three  pieces  each, 
condemned.  This  document  is  extremely  valuable,  for  it 
shows  the  magnitude  of  the  trade,  and  gives  such  a  long 
list  of  the  names  of  men  who  were  making  clotli  in  our 
parish  at  that  time. 

In  the  last  years  of  Henry  VIII. 's  reign,  parliament 
abolished  the  trade  of  "  wool  driving  "  or  wool  stapling. 
The  act  forbade  men  to  buy  wool  and  to  hold  it  until  the 
price  was  forced  up.  The  abolition  of  the  wool  dealer 
proved  to  be  very  inconvenient  for  "Halifax  trade,  and 
consequently  a  special  act  of  parliament  was  passed  in 
the  reign  of  Philip  and  Mary  to  remedy  this  local 
grievance.  The  introduction  to  the  act  states  that  in 
the  parish  of  Halifax,  are  great  wastes  and  moors,  where 
the  ground,  save  in  rare  places,  is  not  apt  to  produce  any 
corn  or  good  grass,  except  by  the  great  industry  of  the 
people.  Consequently  the  inhabitants  live  by  cloth 
making,  and  the  great  part  of  them  neither  grow  corn 
nor  are  able  to  keep  a  horse  to  carry  their  wool.  Their 
custom  had  been  to  go  to  the  town  of  Halifax,  and  to 
buy  from  the  wool  driver,  some  a  stone,  some  two,  and 
some  three  or  four  according  to  their  means.  They 
carried  this  wool  upon  their  heads  and  backs  to  their 
homes,  three,  four,  five,  or  six  miles  away.  The  wool 
was  converted  into  yarn  or  cloth  and  sold,  and  then  more 
wool  was  bought.     By  means  of  this  industry,  the  barren 


grounds  were  populated.  An  increase  of  five  hundred 
households  within  the  previous  forty  years,  was  recorded. 
The  trade  was  threatened  with  ruin  if  these  clothiers 
could  not  obtain  the  wool  in  small  quantities.  The  new 
act  made  it  lawful  for  wool  drivers  to  sell  wool  in  the 
town  of  Halifax,  provided  it  was  sold  to  the  small 
makers.  They  were  not  to  sell  wool  to  the  wealthy 
clothiers,  nor  to  any  other  to  sell  again.  Offenders 
against  this  act  were  to  forfeit  double  the  value  of  the 
wool  so  sold. 

"  Chapters  on  theearly  registersof  Halifax  Parish  Church,"  by  E.  J.  Walkef» 

"Heath  Grammar  School,"  by  T.  Cox. 

*'  Dr.  Favour,"  by  T.  W.  Hanson.  (Hx.  Anti  [uariaa  Socy.  Transactions,  1910), 

Dr.   Favour's  "Antiquite   triumphing  over    Noveltie,"  by  T.  W.  HANSON. 
(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,   1911). 

"Bradley  Hall,"  by  J.  Lister.     Halifax  Antiqnarian  Society  TransactionSy 

Henry  Briggs  in  "Dictionary  of  National  Biography." 


17th  century  houses JAMES  MURGATROYD — 


The  Parish  of  Halifax  is  particularly  rich  in  a  large 
number  of  handsome  seventeenth-century  houses  that 
are  scattered  on  all  the  hill-sides.  A  description  of 
some  of  these  houses  will  serve  as  a  useful  preface  to  our 
account  of  the  stirring  events  of  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury ;  and  an  actual  visit  to  some  of  these  old  homesteads 
will    help  to   make  the   history  more   real. 

The  houses  were  usually  built  of  large  blocks  of 
millstone  grit,  which  is  very  durable  and  turns  to  a 
pleasing  grey  colour.        Modern    builders  use  a  softer 




I  life  i 



sandstone,    which    is    obtained    from    deep    quarries    at 
Southowram,  Eingby,  and  elsewhere.       In  olden  days, 

Photo.  B.  P.  Kemlall, 

Fig.  '40  —Lee  House  or  .Spring  Gardens,  Ovenden  Wood. 
H.M.  1625.  (Henry  Murgatroyd).  Showing  Seam  Pointing. 

the  rocks  that  lay  close  to  the  surface  had  to  be  used, 
and  the  gritstone  caps  the  hills  to  the  west  of  Halifax. 


In  Hipperholme  and  towards  the  eastern  end  of  the 
parish  smaller  blocks  of  sandstone  were  used.  These 
houses  have  a  number  of  gables,  and  a  many-gabled 
house  is  always  more  picturesque  than  a  plain -fronted 
one.  The  builders  erected  handsome  projecting  porches 
to  the  main  entrance.  Seventeenth  century  chimneys 
are  built  of  large  stones,  and  are  bold,  square  erections 
v^hich  give  a  good  finish  to  the  house.  One  local 
peculiarity  is  seam-pointing.  The  joints  of  the  chimneys 
and  the  roof- ridge  are  pointed  with  lime,  and  then 
painted  white.  The  white  lines  are  in  striking  contrast 
to  the  dark  stone.  There  were  no  troughings  or  fall- 
pipes  to  catch  the  rain  water.  The  rain  ran  down  into 
the  gutters  of  the  roof,  and  large  stone  water-spouts 
threw  the  streams  of  water  clear  of  the  walls.  At  the 
apex  of  each  gable  was  a  carved  finial  of  varied  designs. 
Sometimes  a  square  finial  served  as  a  sundial,  as  at 
Wood  Lane  Hall  (Sowerby),  Ovenden  Hall,  and  Halifax 
and  Elland  Churches. 

The  windows  may  be  considered  the  main  features  of 
these  houses,  and  they  are  the  best  guide  in  judging 
whether  a  house  belongs  to  this  period  or  not.  They 
are  long — filling  almost  the  width  of  the  room — 
low  in  proportion,  and  divided  into  half-a-dozen  or 
more  lights  by  stone  muUions.  These  upright  blocks 
of  gritstone  are  bevelled  on  each  side  so  that  they 
do  not  block  out  too  much  light.  Where  the  window 
has  two  or  more  tiers  of  lights,  the  horizontal  stone 
divisions,  called  transoms,  are  also  bevelled,  as  also  are 
the  window  sills  and  the  top  stones.  The  whole  window 
is  deeply  recessed  into  the  thick  walls.  Above  each 
window  is  a  stone  moulding,  which  prevents  the  rain 
that  runs  down  the  house-front  from  dripping  into  the 





Some  Details, 




Fig.  41. 



window,  just  as  the  eye-brow  protects  the  eye.  The 
ends  of  these  drip-stones  are  carved,  and  these  carved 
terminals  are  of  many  patterns.  The  chamber,  or 
bedroom  window,  often  has  two  lights  above  four,  or 
three   over   five  lights,    thus   following  the  line   of  the 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

Fig.  42.— Norland  Hall  Doorway.       IT.  H.T.  1672. 
(Joseph  Taylor  and  his  wife.) 

gable.  Such  windows  are  only  to  be  found  in  our  district. 
Then  there  are  the  circular  wheel  or  rose  windows  which 
light  the  porch  chamber  at  such  houses  as  Kershaw 
House,  Luddenden;  New  Hall,  Elland;  and  Barkisland 



It  was  the  custom  for  the  owner  of  the  house  to  carve 
over  his  doorway  the  date  of  the  building,  and  the  initials 
of  himself  and  his  wife.     For  instance: — 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

Fig.  43.— High  Sundebland,  South  Pouch. 

Long  Can,  Ovenden  Wood,  I.M.M.  1637 — John  and  Mary  Murgatroyd. 
Shaw  Hill  doorway  at  the  corner  of  Simmonds  Lane,  I.E.L.  1697 — 

Joshua  Laycock  and  his  wife. 
Back  Hall,  Siddal,  T.H.E.  1668— Thomas  and  Esther  Hanson. 
Kbrshaw  House,  Luddenden  Lane,  1650,  T.M.,  A.M. — Thomas  and 

Anna  Murgatroyd. 


Instead  of  initials  and  dates,  some  houses  bear  the 
€oat-of-arms  of  the  owner.  On  the  front  of  High 
Sunderland  are  the  arms  of  Sunderland  and  Eish worth 

Photo  H.  P.  Kendall 

Fig.  44.— High  Sunderland  Gateway. 

families.  Over  the  south  door  of  Back  Hall,  Siddal,  are 
the  Hanson  arms  surrounded  by  shields  of  other  families 
into  which  Hansons  had  married. 

High  Sunderland  has  also  some  interesting  mottoes 



carved  on  the  stones.      On  the  south  front  are  four  lines 
of  Latin  which  translated  read: — 

'*  May  the  Almighty  grant  that  the  race  of  Sunderland  may  quietly 
inhabit  this  seat,  and  maintain  the  rights  of  their  ancestors,  free 
from  strife,  until  an  ant  drink  up  the  waters  of  the  sea,  and  a 
tortoise  walk  round  the  whole  world." 

Over  the  south  door,  in  Latin: — 

**  This  place  hates,  loves,  punishes,  observes,  honours — 

Negligence,  peace,  crimes,  laws,  virtuous  persons." 

At  Back  Hall  is  this  text,  in  Greek: — 

*♦  He  that  loveth  houses  or  lands  more  than  Me  is  not  worthy  of  Me." 

Photo.  H.  P.  KemUai. 

Fig.  45.— Barkisland  Hall  (1638). 

Over  the  doorway  of  Barkisland  Hall,  John  Gledhill, 
the  builder  in  1638,  had  a  Latin  motto  cut  which  means: — 

"  Once  his,  now  mine,  but  I  know  not  whose  afterwards." 

Oliver  Hey  wood's  house  has  the  single  word 
"  Ebenezer,"  while  at  Scout  Hall  there  is  a  carving 
of  a  fox-hunt. 

These  inscriptions  give  us  a  clue  to  the  characters 
of  the  men  who  erected  the  houses.  A  Greek  text 
indicates  a  scholar,  the  hunting  scene  denotes  a 
sportsman,  Biblical  quotations  come  from  the  religious, 




while  the  heraldic  door-head  proves  the  builder  to  have 
been  proud  of  his  ancestry. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kemlall. 

Fig.  46.— Oak  Frieze,  Norland  Hall. 

Fig.  47.— Plaster  Ceilkn(j 



The  interiors  of  these  old  halls  were  also  handsome, 
but  most  of  them  have  been  altered  at  various  times 
during  the  three  hundred  years  since  they  were  built, 
and  opportunities  of  viewing  these  interiors  are  com- 
paratively rare,  whilst  it  is  always  easy  to  see  the 
exteriors  of  the   houses.       The  carved  oak  furniture — 

Photo.  H.  F.  Kendall 
Fig.  48.— Plaster  Work,  from  Bin  Royp,  Norland, 
Now  in  Bankfield  Museum. 

chairs,  chests,  and  bedsteads — have  been  bought  by 
collectors,  and  the  oak  panelling  of  the  rooms  is  coveted 
and  removed.  Panelled  rooms  and  halls,  oak  galleries 
and  staircases,  and  elaborately  carved  oak  mantel-pieces 
still  survive  in  such  houses  as  Howroyd,  Barkisland ; 
Clay  House,  Greetland;  New  Hall,  Elland;  and  the  Old 
Cock  Hotel,  Halifax. 


The  men  of  the  seventeenth  century  decorated  their 
homes  with  ornamental  plaster-work.  In  Bankfield 
Museum  is  a  deep  heraldic  plaster-work  frieze  that  was 
removed  from  Binn  Royd,  Norland,  when  the  old  farm- 
house was  demolished.       There  is  a  similar  frieze  in  the 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 
Fig.  49.— Upi'ER  Rookks  (1589). 

bedrooms  at  Marsh  Hall,  Northowram,  and  in  the  same 
house  is  a  beautiful  plaster  ceiling.  The  Mulcture  Hall 
in  Halifax  boasts  a  good  ceiling.  In  many  cases  the 
chimney-breast  was  adorned  with  the  Royal  Arms  in 
plaster- work,  as  at  New  Hall,  Elland  ;  and  Norland 
Lower  Hall. 

At  Upper  Saltonstall,  and  at  the  Fold,  Mixenden, 
are  to  be  seen  specimens  of  the  old  stone  ovens.      They 

17th  cej^tury  houses. 


are  shaped  like  a  beehive,  and  about  three  feet  high. 
A  charcoal  fire  was  made  inside  the  oven,  and  the  oven 
closed,  until  the  stones  became  very  hot.  Then  the  fire 
was  raked  out,  the  bread  put  in,  and  the  oven  closed 
again  until  the  baking  was  completed.  At  Broadbottom, 
near  Mytholmroyd,  are  the  remains  of  a  stone  oven,  in 
front  of  the  house. 

I'hoto.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

Fig.  50,— Peel  House,  Warley  (1598). 

Photo,  H.P.KendalL 
Fif>.  51.— Wood  Lane  Hall,  Sowerbt  (1649). 

Mr.  Ambler's  book  on  "  The  Manor  Houses  of 
Yorkshire"  contains  many  beautiful  photographs  and 
detailed  drawings  of  Halifax  houses,  and  comparison  can 
be  made  between  our  local  examples  and  other  Yorkshire 
houses.  We  can  gain  one  important  idea  from  the  book. 
There  are  larger  and  more  beautiful  halls  in  the  agri- 
cultural parts  of  the  county,  but  they  are  situated  far 
apart  from  one  another.  The  rich  men  who  built  the  more 
imposing  halls  owned  miles  of  country,  and  considered 
themselves  to  be  of  a  higher  class  altogether  than  the 
ordinary  people  who  lived  within  their  domain.  In  the 
Parish  of  Halifax,  instead  of  a  few  such  lordly  palaces, 
we  have  a  very  large  number  of  good  medium-sized  houses. 



They  are  evidence  that  Halifax  men  were  making  money 
out  of  trade,  and  that  the  prosperity  was  shared  among  a 

Fig.  52.-STAIXED  Glass,  Shibden  Ham.. 

Photo.  H.  1'.  Kendall 

17th  century  houses.  127 

large  number  of  substantial  yeomen,  whereas  in  other 
parts  of  the  county,  the  riches  were  in  the  hands  of  a 
few  of  the  gentry. 

In?Bankfield  Museum,  there  is  a  large  collection  of 
photographs  and  sketches  of  these  seventeenth  century 
halls.     Study  them  by  all  means  and  compare  the  details 

Photo.  G,  E.  Snoxell 

of  one  house  with  others,  but  don't  be  content  with 
illustrations.  Take  walks  along  any  of  our  hill-sides — • 
Norland,  Sowerby,  Luddenden  Dean,  Shibden  Dale, 
Warley — and  you  will  easily  find  some  of  the  old  halls, 
and   take   notice — and  sketches — of  the  details  of  the 



buildings,  the  dates  and  initials  over  the  doorheads,  and 
perchance,  get  a  peep  inside  some  of  them. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

Fig.  54.— Bai.l  Green,  Sowerhy  (1634). 

Street  improvements  have  practically  cleared  away 
the  seventeenth  century  houses  from  the  town  of 
Halifax,   but   there   are  several  close  at   hand,  such  as 

1  7th  century  houses. 


Haugh  Shaw  House,  Allan  Fold,  Warley  Eoad,  Willow 
Hall  at  Cote  Hill,  and  quite  a  cluster  of  them  near  the 
Boothtown  tram  stage. 

ii^^^^Bilk^     :  jc';  ^ "'':  ^ 

"HP*                                                -t'THl/I^^^V^^^Bb  Jt^H^im^l 

Fin.  00.— I'pj'KH  Willow  IIali 

James  Murgatroyd  of  Murgatroyd  (or  the  Hollins) 
in  Warley  was  the  greatest  builder  of  these  fine  seven- 
teenth century  houses  in  the  Parish  of  Halifax.  Most 
men  were  quite  content  to  rebuild  their  own  homesteads, 
but  as  Murgatroyd  grew  richer  and  added  farm  to  farm 
in  Warley,  Ovenden,  and  other  townships,  he  took  a 
pride  in  erecting  handsome  houses.  To  him,  we  owe 
Haigh  House,  Warley  (1631),  Long   Can  (1637),  Yew 



Tree  (1643)  in  Ovenden  Wood,  and  Kershaw  House 
(1650)  in  Luddenden  Lane,  which  is  one  of  the  finest 
of  our  local  halls.  James  Murgatroyd  received  by  his 
father's  will,  all  the  looms,  presses,  shears,  etc..,  which 
were  standing  in  his  shop,  so  it  is  evident  that  part  of 

Fig.  56.— IJpi'ER  Willow  Hall 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

his  immense  fortune  was  made  in  the  w^oollen  trade. 
About  1640,  Mr.  Murgatroyd  removed  his  home  to 
East  Riddlesden  Hall,  near  Keighley,  and  there  built 
the  house  in  such  style  as  to  make  it  one  of  the  largest 
and  most  imposing  halls  in  Airedale. 

In  connection  with  his  Airedale  estates,  Murgatroyd 



had  to  provide  yearly  a  hen  for  Lady  Anne  CHfiord  of 
Skipton  Castle  as  part  of  the  rent.  It  was  a  relic  of  the 
ancient  manorial  times  when  rents  were  paid  in  kind,  of 

Fij>.  57.— (Jatf.way,  Lower  Willow 
(now  use«l  as  a  cottage). 

Photo.  H.  F  Kendall 




Fig.  58.— Long  Can,  Ovenden  Wood  (1637).  Photo,  h.  p.  Keodm. 

Fig  59.— Yew  Tree   Ovendex  Wood  (1643). 

Photo,   n.  r  Kendall 



which  we  spoke  in  an  early  chapter.  Murgatroyd  said 
the  custom  was  obsolete  and  refused  to  find  the  hen. 
He  was  sued  at  York,  and  Lady  Anne  won.  When  the 
dispute  was  settled,  she  invited  Mr.  Murgatroyd  to 
dinner  at  Skipton  Castle,  and  the  hen  was  under  one  of 
the   covers.       We   can   imagine  what   they  would   talk 

Fig.  60. 



about    after    dinner    for     "her    passion 
mortar  was  immense."      She  re-built  six 
seven  churches,   built   almshouses,  and 

The    Murgatroyds    suffered    much 
James  Murgatroyd  paid  £850  in  fines- 

Photo,  <T.  Whitaker. 

for  bricks  and 
castles,  restored 
erected    several 

in  the  courts. 
-£500  of  which 


went  to  the  repairing  of  Old  St.  Paul's,  London — for 
some  offence  he  and  his  sons  committed  at  Luddenden 
Chapel.  His  sons  were  also  most  unjustly  imprisoned 
and  fined,  many  years  later,  through  being  bond  for  a 
nephew.  Tradition  says  that  the  River  Aire  changed 
its  course  at  Riddlesden,  and  refused  to  flow  past  the 
Hall  because  the  Murgatroyds  had  to  sell  it. 

Nathaniel  Waterhouse,  the  great  Halifax  benefactor, 
was  making  his  fortune  in  the  first  half  of  the  seventeenth 
century,  by  dealing  in  oil  and  the  salts  used  by  dyers. 
We  do  not  know  exactly  where  his  home  was,  but  he 
owned  Bank  House,  Salterhebble,  the  white-washed 
house  which  stands  near  the  railway  and  overlooks  the 
sewage  works.  Bank  House  is  still  held  by  the  Water- 
house  Trustees,  and  its  rent  helps  to  pay  for  some  of 
his  schemes. 

A  Workhouse  was  built  by  Nathaniel  Waterhouse, 
somewhere  near  the  Parish  Church,  for  which  he  obtained 
a  charter  from  Charles  I.  in  1635  in  order  to  relieve  the 
poor.  This  charter  empowered  the  Master  and  Governors 
of  the  Workhouse  to  take  idle  vagabonds,  ruffians,  and 
sturdy  beggars,  place  them  in  the  Workhouse,  and  set 
them  to  work  spinning  wool  or  making  bone-lace.  A 
whipping-stock  was  erected  in  the  workhouse,  and  those 
wlio  were  idle,  or  who  spoilt  or  stole  their  work  were 
flogged.  In  the  first  three  years,  seventy  men  and 
women  were  whipped,  and  some  of  them  repeatedly. 

Nathaniel  Waterhouse  also  founded  some  almshouses 
for  twelve  poor  persons  to  live  in.  By  his  will,  he  left 
money  for  their  maintenance,  and  also  a  sum  to  buy 
black  clothes  for  them.  Mr.  Waterhouse  died  in  the 
first  week  of  June,  1645,  and  as  he  had  no  children,  he 
left  his  lands  and  monev  for  the  benefit  of  the  town. 



**The  Church  and  Poor  I  left  my  Heirs ; 
My  Friends  to  order  my  Affairs." 

One  of  his  house)s  was  to  be  altered  to  make  a  home 
for  ten  orphan  girls  and  ten  orphan  boys,  who  were  to 
be  taught  a  trade.  They  were  to  be  dressed  in  blue 
coats.  In  1853,  the  Trustees  obtained  power  to  sell 
these  old  buildings  down  by  the  Parish  Church,  and 
to  build  new  Almshouses  and  Bluecoat  School,  on 
Harrison  Road. 

Fig.  61.— Bank  Housk,  Salterhebblk. 

Photo,  II.  p.  Kendall. 

A  few  pounds  per  year  were  to  be  given  to  the 
ministers  of  the  twelve  Chapels  In  the  Parish- -Coley, 
Illingworth,  Sowerby  Bridge,  Rastrick,  etc.  On  the  first 
Wednesday  in  each  month,  these  ministers  in  turn  had 
to  preach  a  sermon  in  the  Parish  Church,  and  these 
Waterhouse  Sermons  have  been  given  regularly  ever  since. 


Money  was  also  bequeathed  for  repairing  the  roads 
leading  from  Halifax  to  Bradford,  Wakefield,  and  South- 
owram.  On  the  top  of  the  hill  opposite  the  Tannery  at 
Hipperholme,  is  a  stone  (like  a  mile-stone)  which  records 
one  of  these  gifts.  The  will  also  mentions  the  highway 
between  Spright  Smithy  and  Southowram  Bank.  Spright 
Smithy  would  probably  be  at  Smithy  Stake,  where  a 
stake  had  been  driven  into  the  ground,  to  which 
horses  were  tethered  when  they  needed  shoeing. 

The  Waterhouse  Charity  has  become  richer  with  time, 
because  the  land  has  increased  in  value.  In  1645,  the 
income  was  £131;  in  1745,  £248;  in  1845,  £1,350;  and 
in  1895,  £2,353. 

About  the  year  1634,  a  young  doctor,  Thomas 
Browne,  came  to  live  at  Upper  Shibden  Hall,  near  the 
head  of  Shibden  Dale.  The  old  house  has  been 
demolished,  so  we  cannot  visit  the  exact  place.  To  us 
it  seems  an  out-of-the-way  place  for  a  doctor's  surgery, 
but  we  must  remember  it  was  not  far  away  from  the  old 
Halifax  to  Bradford  Koad.  While  Dr.  Browne  was 
living  in  Shibden,  he  wrote  one  of  the  most  famous  of 
Enghsh  books  "  Beligio  Medici,"  or  "A  Doctor's 

"This,  I  confess,"  he  says  in  the  preface,  "for  my 
private  exercise  and  satisfaction,  I  had  at  leisurable 
hours  composed.  It  was  penned  in  such  a  place,  and 
with  such  disadvantage,  that,  I  protest,  from  the  first 
setting  of  pen  unto  paper,  I  had  not  the  assistance  of 
any  good  book  whereby  to  promote  my  invention,  or 
relieve  my  memory." 

Thomas  Browne  was  in  his  thirtieth  year  when  he 
wrote  his  masterpiece,  though  it  was  not  published  until 
some  years  afterwards.     He  did  not  stay  long  in  Halifax, 


and  subsequently  removed  to  Norwich,  became  a  famous 
citizen,  and  was  knighted  by  King  Charles.  There  is  a 
statue  of  Sir  Thomas  Browne  in  Norwich. 

"The  Old  Halls  and  Manor-houses  of  Yorkshire,"' by  LouiS  Ambler. 

*' Halifax  Antiquarian  Society's  Transactions." — The  papers  read  at  the 
summer  excursions  contain  a  mine  of  information  about  local  17th  century 









The  reign  of  Charles  I.  is  one  of  the  most  important 
periods  in  English  history,  and  our  story  will  show  how 
the  great  national  events  affected  Halifax.  One  of  King 
Charles's  troubles  was  his  want  of  money.  He  dared 
not  call  his  Parliament  together  and  ask  them  for  a 
grant,  because  Parliament  would  have  asked  how  he 
intended  to  spend  the  money,  and  how  he  intended  to 
govern.  The  King  therefore  resorted  to  other  methods, 
and  for  eleven  years  he  reigned  without  a  Parliament. 

At  his  Coronation,  King  Charles  offered  a  knighthood 
to  every  man  who  had  an  income  of  forty  pounds  and 
upwards  from  the  rents  of  land.  His  idea  was  to  enrich 
himself  by  the  fees,  that  had  to  be  paid  by  every  new 
knight.  Those  men  who  refused  "the  honour  of 
knighthood"  were  fined,  and  if  they  did  not  pay  their 
fine,  were  thrown  into  prison.  Seventy  of  the  gentry  of 
Halifax  Parish  paid  these  fines,  and  by  this  means,  the 



king  drew  £1,034  6s.  8d.  from  our  parish.  One  of  the 
Listers  paid  the  fine,  and  the  receipt  for  his  fine  is  still 
preserved  at  Shibden  Hall,  signed  "Strafford,"  the  earl 
who  was  Charles's  principal  adviser,  and  who  ended  his 
days  on  the  scaffold.  Seven  of  the  seventy  men  lived  in 
the  township  of  Halifax,  among  them  being  Thomas 
Blackwood,  who  built  Blackwood  House  in  1617, 
somewhere  near  the  site  of  Blackwood  Grove,  and 
the  great  benefactor,  Nathaniel  Waterhouse.  James 
Murgatroyd  of  Warley,  paid  the  largest  fine  of  £40. 
Among  the  others,  we  may  mention  John  Clay,  of  Clay 
House,  the  beautiful  hall  near  Greetland  Station ; 
Gregory  Patchett,  whose  initials  are  on  the  doorway  of 
the  whitewashed  house  in  Luddenden,  known  as  the 
Lord  Nelson  Inn;  John  Drake  of  Horley  Green; 
Abraham  Brigg,  who  lived  at  Grindlestone  Bank,  and 
also  built  Holdsworth  House ;  and  Anthony  Bentley  of 
Mixenden  Green. 

Two  years  later,  1627,  the  King  of  France  laid  siege 
to  the  great  Protestant  seaport  of  Bocheile.  The  King's 
favourite,  the  Duke  of  Buckingham,  prepared  a  stately 
fleet  of  a  hundred  sail  to  go  to  the  relief  of  Eochelle. 
Parliament  was  called,  but  the  members  would  discuss 
the  conduct  of  Buckingham,  and  it  was  dissolved  before 
a  single  sixpence  was  voted  for  the  war.  Money  had  to 
be  found,  so  the  king  appealed  for  free  gifts,  and  when 
little  or  nothing  was  given,  he  forced  men  to  lend  him 

An  order  was  sent  to  the  cloth-makers  of  Halifax 
and  Leeds,  calling  upon  them  to  contribute  in  union  with 
the  port  of  Hull  "  towards  the  charge  of  setting  out 
three  ships,  of  the  burthen  of  two  hundred  tons  apiece 
for    His    Majesty's   service,    to    be    at    rendezvous    at 

SHIP  MONEY.  139 

Portsmouth,  the  20th  day  of  May  next,  furnished  as 
men-of-war,  and  victualled  for  full  four  months."  These 
were  to  be  three  of  the  fleet  intended  for  Rochelle.  In 
reply  to  this  order,  the  men  of  Halifax,  with  those  of 
Leeds,  sent  a  petition  to  the  Privy  Council  giving 
several  reasons  for  being  excused.  They  protested  first 
of  all  that  they  had  paid  taxes  imposed  by  the  Privy 
Council,  without  the  assent  of  Parliament ;  they  had 
contributed  to  the  forced  loans ;  paid  five  subsidies 
unlawfully  taken  without  Parliament's  consent ;  and 
they  had  found  and  trained  soldiers.  They  also 
reasoned  that  the  ports  provided  ships  and  sailors, 
while  the  inland  towns  paid  for  soldiers ;  that  their 
cloth  went  to  other  ports  besides  Hull ;  that  other 
trades  had  an  interest  in  Hull ;  and  that  some  other 
trades  were  more  able  to  pay.  One  hundred  and  twenty - 
five  Halifax  men  signed  the  Petition,  and  of  this  number 
thirty  could  not  write  their  own  names,  but  they  made 
a  X  or  some  other  mark.  The  first  to  sign  was  Robert 
Clay,  Vicar  of  Halifax,  and  then  came  many  well-known 
names  like  Waterhouse,  Bairstow,  Binns,  Oldfield, 
Greenwood,  Barraclough,  etc. 

A  few  years  later,  John  Hampden,  a  Buckinghamshire 
squire,  made  a  name  for  himself  in  English  history  by 
refusing  to  pay  the  ship-money.* 

In  addition  to  these  disputes  about  taxation  and  the 
power  of  the  king,  the  question  of  church  government 
was  also  dividing  the  nation.  Archbishop  Laud  and  the 
bishops  claimed  absolute  control  of  the  religious  life  of 
the  people  and  from  James  Murgatroyd's  case,  we  see 
that  they  wielded  a  great  power.  On  the  other  side,  the 
Puritans  developed  the  preaching  part  of  the  services 
and  wished  to  abolish  everything  that  reminded  them  ot 


the  Koman  Catholic  Church.  Dr.  Favour  and  other 
Puritan  vicars  had  made  HaUfax  almost  unanimously  of 
their  thought,  and  the  Halifax  Exercises  (conferences 
where  famous  preachers  drew  immense  crowds  to  listen 
to  their  sermons)  were  kept  up  for  many  years. 

Some  of  the  local  Puritans,  fearing  persecution, 
followed  the  example  of  the  Pilgrim  Fathers,  and 
emigrated  to  New  England.  Matthew  Mitchell,  "a 
pious  and  wealthy  person"  of  Halifax,  sailed  in  1635, 
taking  with  him  his  son  Jonathan,  who  became  a 
celebrated  preacher  in  America.  Richard  Denton, 
minister  of  Coley,  also  emigrated  and  became  famous. 
These  were  among  the  pioneers  who  colonised  the  land 
now  known  as  the  United  States. 

In  1637,  King  Charles  and  Archbishop  Laud  ordered 
that  a  new  Prayer  Book  should  be  read  in  the  Scottish 
Churches,  but  the  Scotch  people,  who  were  mostly 
Presbyterians,  would  not  have  the  new  service,  and 
revolted,  so  in  1639,  Charles  declared  war  on  Scotland. 
This  is  known  as  the  First  Bishop's  War,  and  men  from 
our  district  were  obliged  to  join  the  king's  forces.  We 
gather  some  details  of  this  war  from  the  Account  Book 
of  the  Sowerby  Constable.  After  training  at  Halifax, 
Elland,  Wakefield,  and  other  places,  sixteen  Sowerby 
men  set  ofi  from  Wakefield  for  active  service  in  Scotland. 
A  similar  contingent  would  go  from  Halifax  and  the 
other  townships.  •  Pikes  and  guns  were  repaired,  gun- 
powder, bullets,  knapsacks,  and  bandoliers  provided,  so 
that  the  little  company  cost  Sowerby  people  sixty-five 
pounds.  The  expedition  was  a  failure  from  the  king's 
point  of  view,  for  the  Scotch  raised  a  much  better  army, 
and  Charles  made  terms  with  them  rather  than  fight. 
Southowram  kept  their  beacon  ready,  in  case  the  Scots 
invaded  the  north  of  England. 


A  couple  of  years  later  there  was  trouble  in  another 
part  of  the  realm.  In  November,  1641,  news  came  that 
the  Irish  had  massacred  thirty  thousand  of  the  English 
and  Scots  colonists,  and  it  was  said  that  the  Irish  might 
cross  to  England.  These  reports,  of  course,  spread  alarm 
throughout  this  part  of  England.  Joseph  Lister  of 
Bradford,  then  a  lad  of  fifteen,  says  that  on  one  Sunday 
he  had  gone  to  Pudsey  to  hear  Mr.  Wales  preach.  A 
man  named  Sugden  came  hastily  to  the  chapel  door,  and 
called  out  "  Friends,  we  are  all  as  good  as  dead  men,  for 
the  Irish  rebels  are  gotten  to  Bochdale,  and  will  be  at 
Bradford  and  Halifax  shortly."  The  people  were  all 
confused,  women  wept,  children  screamed  and  clung  to 
their  parents.  Joseph  Lister  went  home  to  Bradford, 
and  found  the  people  in  the  streets  considering  how  best 
to  defend  their  homes,  for  they  had  heard  that  the  rebels 
had  reached  Halifax.  At  length  they  sent  a  few  men 
on  horseback  to  Halifax  to  ascertain  the  truth,  and  they 
found  that  the  supposed  rebels  were  a  few  poor  folk  who 
had  fled  from  Ireland  for  safety. 

Englishmen  were  very  angry  at  the  news  of  the 
massacre,  and  felt  that  an  army  should  be  sent  to  take 
vengeance  on  the  Irish.  But  they  so  mistrusted  the 
King  that  they  would  not  raise  a  force  for  him  to 
command,  fearing  he  would  use  it  to  overpower  the 
Parliament.  The  King  and  Parliament  were  now 
definitely  opposed,  and  on  August  22nd,  1642,  the 
King's  Standard  was  set  up  at  Nottingham,  and  the 
Civil  War  begun. 

Professor  Gardiner  says  that  the  north-west  of 
England,  then  the  poorest,  rudest,  and  least  thickly 
populated  part  of  the  country  took  the  King;'s  side, 
whilst  the  south-east  of  England,  with  its  fertile  lands. 

142  THE  STORY  OF  OLl.     ^ALIFAX. 

its    commercial    and    manufacturing    activity    and    its 

wealth,  was  on  the  side  of  the  Parliament,  but  no 
exact  line  can  be  drawn  between  the  portions  of 
England  which  supported  the  two  causes.  The  clothing 
towns  of  the  West  Riding — Halifax,  Bradford,  and 
Leeds — and  the  eastern  towns  of  Lancashire — Man- 
chester, Rochdale,  and  Bolton — took  the  side  of  the 
Parliament,  for  they  depended  upon  trade,  and  their 
people  were  mostly  Puritans.  At  first,  the  fighting 
was  in  what  we  may  call  "county  matches."  That  is, 
the  Royalists  of  Yorkshire  attacked  the  Yorkshire 
Parliamentarians,  wh'le  the  Roundheads  of  Lancashire 
were  busy  with  the  Cavaliers  of  the  same  county.  Only 
in  rare  instances  could  men  be  persuaded  to  march  from 
one  county  to  fight  in  another.  Lord  Fairfax  was  the 
General  of  the  Parliament's  Yorkshire  Army,  and  he 
was  opposed  by  the  Earl  of  Newcastle  on  behalf  of 
the  King. 

On  Sunday  morning,  December  18th,  1642,  while 
service  was  being  held  in  Coley  Chapel,  a  good  man,  one 
Isaac  Baume,  came  in  haste  to  the  chapel  and  told  the 
minister,  Mr.  Latham,  what  the  position  was  in  Bradford. 
The  minister  spoke  to  his  congregation  about  it,  and 
many  in  the  chapel  went  for  their  weapons,  and  set  oft 
to  help  Bradford.  Among  these  volunteers  was  John 
Hodgson,  who  afterwards  became  a  captain  in  Cromwell's 
army.  Bradford  was  in  a  sore  plight,  for  all  the  trained 
soldiers  were  with  Lord  Fairfax,  and  he  had  retreated  to 
Selby  because  of  a  defeat  he  had  suffered  at  Tadcaster 
eleven  days  previously.  The  Royalist  Army  had  taken 
Wakefield  and  Leeds,  and  were  hoping  to  capture  both 
Bradford  and  Halifax.  A  Halifax  captain  (we  do  not 
know    his   name)     took    command    of    the    defences    of 


Bradford,  and  th^.rboi  and  arms  he  had  brought  helped 
considerably.  Bradford  Church  was  made  into  a  fort, 
because  it  was  the  largest  and  strongest  building  in  the 
town.  Musketeers  were  placed  in  the  tower  to  fire  on 
the  enemy,  and  sheets  of  wool  were  hung  around  the 
tower  to  protect  it  from  cannon  balls.  Sir  William 
Savile,  with  a  thousand  Royalists  and  some  cannon, 
attacked  the  town  on  that  Sunday  morning,  and  they 
met  with  more  resistance  than  they  expected.  At  mid- 
day, Hodgson  with  more  Halifax  men  arrived,  and  were 
welcomed  by  the  defenders,  who  then  decided  on  a 
counter  attack,  in  which  the  Royalists  were  put  to  flight. 

Sir  Thomas  Fairfax,  who  was  with  his  father,  on 
hearing  of  the  heroic  exploit,  passed  through  the 
enemy's  lines,  and  came  to  Bradford  to  help  them.  He 
considered,  however,  that  Bradford  was  a  bad  place  to 
defend,  for  it  lies  in  a  hollow,  with  heights  around  it 
from  which  an  enemy  could  command  the  town.  Sir 
Thomas  made  Bradford  his  headquarters,  fortified  it  as 
well  as  he  could,  and  sent  an  appeal  to  the  surrounding 
places  for  recruits,  and  he  obtained  many  Halifax  men. 
Samuel  Priestley  of  Good-greave,  Soyland,  joined, 
though  his  parents  tried  to  persuade  him  to  stay  at 
home.  "If  I  stay  at  home,"  he  replied,  "I  can  follow 
no  employment,  but  be  forced  to  hide  in  one  hole  or 
another,  which  I  cannot  endure.  I  had  rather  venture 
my  life  in  the  field,  and  if  I  die,  it  is  in  a  good  cause." 

Every  day  there  were  skirmishes  between  Fairfax's 
men,  and  the  Royalists  who  garrisoned  Leeds  and 
Wakefield.  Sir  Thomas  was  always  a  bold  commander, 
and  "  being  too  many  to  lie  idle,  and  too  few  to  be  upon 
constant  duty,  we  resolved  through  the  assistance  of 
God,  to  attempt  them  in  their  garrisons."     Therefore  on 


January  23rd,  1643,  he  marched  ."gainst  Leeds,  and 
after  a  desperate  fight,  re-captured  the  town.  The 
war-cry  of  Fairfax's  army  was  "Emmanuel." 

Major  Forbes  was  the  first  man  to  enter,  by  cHmbing 
over  the  wall,  by  standing  on  the  shoulders  of  Lieutenant 
Horsfall  of  Halifax.  When  they  had  entered  the  town, 
Mr.  Jonathan  Scholefield,  minister  of  Cross-Stone  Chapel, 
(near  Todmorden)  started  the  singing  of  a  psalm: — 

"  Let  God  arise,  and  scattered 
Let  all  His  enemies  be ; 
And  let  all  those  that  do  Him  hate, 
Before  His  presence  flee," 

According  to  the  account  of  the  fight,  several  Halifax 
men  had  marvellous  escapes.  Fairfax  praised  his  soldiers. 
He  called  them  unexperienced  fresh- water  men,  yet 
although  they  had  only  received  a  week's  training,  they 
attacked  most  resolutely  and  valiantly.  The  Earl  of 
Newcastle  retreated  to  York,  but  before  long  he  was 
vigorously  pressing   the   Fairfaxes  with  a  larger  army. 

Lord  Fairfax  wrote  to  the  Speaker  of  the  House  of 
Commons  to  inform  him  that  the  people  of  Leeds, 
Bradford,  and  HaHfax,  were  in  want.  They  depended 
for  corn  and  meat  on  the  more  fruitful  parts  of  the 
country,  and  the  enemy  was  stopping  all  supplies.  The 
woollen  trade  was  altogether  suspended,  consequently 
there  w^ere  many  poor  and  no  money  to  relieve  them. 
The  army  could  defend  them  from  the  enemy,  but  not 
from  want.  Fairfax  also  asked  that  Colonel  Oliver 
Cromwell  might  be  sent  out  of  Lincolnshire  with  an 
army,  to  help  to  crush  the  Earl  of  Newcastle's  forces. 
This,  however,  was  found  to  be  impracticable. 

Newcastle  besieged  and  stormed  Howley  Hall,  near 
Batley.  Howley  belonged  to  Sir  John  Savile,  who  was 
with   the   King  at   Oxford,  but  his  cousin,  another  Sir 



John  Savile,  was  holding  the  place  for  the  Parliament. 
Lord  Fairfax  marched  out  of  Bradford  to  meet  the 
enemy  Royalists,  who,  after  leaving  their  quarters  about 
Howley,  chose  Adwalton  or  Atherton  Moor  as  the  field 
of  battle.  Here  on  June  30th,  1643,  was  fought  the 
decisive  battle  of  this  Yorkshire  campaign,  and  Fairfax's 
army  was  routed.  Adwalton  Moor  is  very  near  the 
junction  of  the  Halifax-Leeds  Road  with  the  Bradford- 
Wakefield  Eoad. 

^     Av^    ►*. 



Fig.  62.— View  of  Halifax  About  the  Middle  of  the  17th  Century. 

It  is  of  supreme  interest  to  us  to  find  that  the  official 
despatch,  sent  to  William  Lenthall,  the  Speaker  of  the 
House  of  Commons,  describing  the  battle,  was  written  at 
Halifax  by  Thomas  Stockdale,  whose  home  was  at 
Bilton  Park,  near  Harrogate.     He  appears  to  have  acted 


as  military  secretary  to  Fairfax,  as  he  wrote  other 
despatches  during  the  war.  We  will  hear  the  story  of 
the  fight  as  far  as  possible  in  Stockdale's  own  words. 

"  I  wrote  to  you  on  Thursday  last,  since  which  time 
the  state  of  our  affairs  is  much  altered,  being  changed 
from  ill  into  worse.  Yesterday  morning  we  drew  our 
forces  together,  consisting  of  : — 

1,200  commanded  men  of  the  garrison  of  Leeds, 

7  companies  of  Bradford, 

500  men  of  Halifax,  and  the  country  thereabouts, 

12  companies  of  Foot  from  Lancashire, 

10  troops  of  our  own  Horse, 

3  troops  from  Lancashire, 

[A  company  or  a  troop  should  have  100  men]. 

but  the  troops  for  the  most  part  weak.  We  had  four 
pieces  of  brass  ordnance  with  us,  and  a  great  part  of  our 
powder  and  match.  Many  club-men  [i.e.,  irregular 
companies  of  men  armed  with  scythes,  clubs,  or  any 
other  weapons  they  could  obtain]  followed  us,  who  are 
fit  to  do  execution  upon  a  flyiug  enemy,  but  unfit  for 
other  service,  for  I  am  sure  they  did  us  none.  With  the 
strength  being  not  full  four  thousand  men,  horse  and 
foot,  armed,  we  marched  from  Bradford  against  the 
enemy,  who  lay  about  three  miles  off  us  in  a  village 
called  Adwalton  or  Atherton,  and  the  places  thereabouts. 

They,  hearing  of  our  preparations,  had  left  their 
quarters  about  Howley,  and  chosen  that  place  of  ad- 
vantage, being  both  a  great  hill  and  an  open  moor  or 
common,  where  our  foot  could  not  be  able  to  stand  their 
horse.  Their  army  consisted  of  8,000  of  their  old  foot, 
and  about  7,000  new  men,  and,  as  most  men  say,  4,000 
horse,  but  indeed  there  are  many  companies  both  of 
their    horse    and    foot    very    slenderly    armed.        Upon 


Atherton  Moor  they  planted  their  ordnance  and  ordered 
theh^  battle,  but  they  manned  divers  houses  standing  in 
the  enclosed  grounds  [fields]  betwixt  Bradford  and 
Atherton  Moor  with  musketeers,  and  sent  out  great 
parties  of  horse  and  foot  by  the  lanes,  and  enclosed 
grounds  to  give  us  fight.  Our  forlorn  hope  [or  advance 
party]  was  led  by  Captain  Mildmay.  He  had  other 
captains  with  him,  including  Captain  Farrar  [who  was 
probably  a  Halifax  man].  The  van,  wherein  were  placed 
the  1,200  men  from  Leeds,  was  led  by  Major-General 
Giiford.  The  main  battle,  wherein  were  the  forces  of 
Lancashire,  and  *500  from  the  parts  about  Halifax  and 
the  moors,  had  the  Lord  General  himself ;  and  the  rear, 
with  the  garrison  forces  of  Bradford,  were  led  by 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Forbes.  The  horse  were  commanded 
by  Sir  Thomas  Fairfax,  who  should  have  led  the  main 
battle,  if  the  Lord  General  could  have  been  persuaded 
to  absent  himself. 

Our  forlorn  hope  beat  back  the  enemies  out  of  the 
lanes  and  enclosed  grounds,  killing  many  and  taking 
some  prisoners,  and  then  the  van  coming  up,  fell  upon 
the  enemies  on  the  left  hand,  and  the  main  battle  upon 
those  on  the  right  hand,  and  after  some  dispute,  beat 
the  enemy  both  out  of  the  houses  they  had  manned,  and 
from  the  skirts  of  the  moor  to  the  height,  killing  very 
many,  and  among  them  two  colonels.  Our  horse  very 
bravely  recovered  part  of  the  moor  from  the  enemy  and 
maintained  it,  and  the  rear  fell  on  in  the  middle  and  did 
good  service. 

Thus  far  we  had  a  fair  day,  but  the  success  of  our 
men  at  the  first,  drew  them  unawares  to  engage  them- 
selves too  far  upon  the  enemies,  who,  having  the 
advantage  of  the  ground,  and  infinitely  exceeded  us  in 


numbers,  at  least  five  for  one,  they  sent  some  regiments 
of  horse  and  foot  by  a  lane  on  the  left  hand,  to 
encompass  our  army  and  fall  on  the  rear,  which  forced 
us  to  retreat.  Our  men,  being  unacquainted  with  field 
service,  would  not  be  drawn  off  in  any  order,  but  instead 
of  marching,  fell  into  running.  The  commanders  did 
their  best  to  stay  them,  but  in  vain,  for  away  they  went 
in  disorder,  yet  they  brought  off"  two  pieces  of  the 
ordnance,  and  lost  the  other  two  and  many  prisoners, 
but  the  estimate  of  the  number  I  cannot  give  you. 

Sir  Thomas  Fairfax  with  five  or  six  troops  of  horse, 
brought  off  the  most  part  of  the  main 'battle,  wherein 
the  Lancashire  men  were,  and  made  his  retreat  to 
Halifax  very  well,  for  the  enemy  was  gotten  so  far 
before  him  towards  Bradford  as  he  could  not  reach  that 
place.  With  much  importunity,  I  persuaded  the  Lord 
General  to  retire,  who  stayed  so  long  upon  the  field 
until  the  enemies  were  got  betwixt  him  and  Bradford, 
yet  he  took  by-w^ays  and  recovered  the  town. 

Our  loss  was  not  great  in  commanders,  for  I  do  not 
yet  hear  of  any  save  Major  Talbot  killed,  and  Lieut.  Col. 
Forbes  taken  prisoner.  Our  loss  of  prisoners  taken  by 
the  enemy  was  great." 

Sir  Thomas  Fairfax  and  his  broken  army  retreated 
through  Gomersal,  Bailiff  Bridge,  and  Hipperholme,  to 
Halifax.  Li  a  long,  straggling  line,  they  climbed  up  the 
old  pack-horse  road  to  the  shoulder  of  Beacon  Hill,  and 
the  tired,  worn-out  soldiers  would  be  pleased  to  see 
Halifax  lying  below.  Down  Wiscombe  Bank  and  Old 
Bank  they  hurried,  to  the  town  which  promised  rest  and 
refreshment.  The  little  town  would  be  very  busy  that 
night,  with  so  many  soldiers  to  feed  and  to  billet.  The 
people  were  dispirited  by  the  bad  news,  and  to  add  to 



their  fear  and  distraction,  the  Lancashire  forces  went 
straight  home  across  Blackstone  Edge.  Some  twenty 
horse,  and  two  hundred  foot  were  persuaded  to  stay  in 

Fig.  63.— Relics  of  the  Civil  War  in  Bankfielu  Museum. 

Mr.  Stockdale,  in  reporting  to  Parliament,  the  black 
outlook  for  this  corner  of  the  West  Kiding,  wrote  '•  The 
country  is  wasted  and  exhausted,  and  tired  out  with  the 
weight  of  the  troubles  continually  falling  upon  this  part 
of  Yorkshire ;  the  soldiers  want  pay,  and  which  is  worse, 
arms  and  powder,  and  other  ammunition."  Sir  Thomas 
Fairfax  did  not  stay  long  in  Halifax,  but  hastened  to 
Bradford  with  some  of  the  horse  and  foot  that  had  fought 
at  Adwalton.  With  the  chivalrous  devotion  which 
endeared  him  to  all  that  knew  him,  he  went  to  share  his 
father's  fate. 

Mr.  Stockdale  concludes  his  despatch : — 

"  If  speedy  supply  be  not  sent  with  some  considerable 
succour  of  men,  the  Lord  General  will  be  constrained  to 
accept  of  some  dishonourable  conditions  from  the  enemy. 
1  am  now  at  Halifax,  to  which  place  I  came  last  night, 
and  take  opportunity  to  send  this  bearer  with  Sir 
Thomas  Fairfax's  warrant,  to  get  you  speedy  notice,  lest 
we  be  so  shut  up  in  Bradford  and  Leeds  as  we  cannot 


send.      Hasten  some  relief  to  preserve  the  most  constant 
part  of  the  kingdom." 

Finally  comes  the  postscript: — 

"  As  I  was  closing  this  letter,  I  received  a  letter,  and 
after  that  a  messenger  from  the  Lord  General  to  tell  me 
that  the  enemy  have  made  eight  great  shot  at  the  town 
this  day,  and  have  even  now  recovered  certain  houses 
without  the  works,  which  if  he  cannot  get  fired,  will 
much  endanger  the  loss  of  the  town.  Sir  Thomas  is 
gone  with  some  succours  from  hence,  and  what  can  be 
had  more,  I  will  get  up,  but  the  people  stir  with  fear 
seeing  no  succours  appear." 

On  the  Sunday  night,  (July  'ziid)  the  Bradford 
garrison  was  in  such  a  desperate  plight,  that  Fairfax 
gave  orders  to  the  soldiers  to  escape  from  the  town  as 
best  they  could,  with  the  idea  of  reaching  Hull.  Lord 
Fairfax  and  his  son  Sir  Thomas,  with  a  remnant  of  the 
army,  reached  Hull  after  many  adventures,  and  Hull 
was  the  only  corner  of  Yorkshire  that  was  held  for  the 
Parliament.  Dykes  were  opened,  and  the  surrounding 
country  flooded  to  aid  the  defence ;  and  the  Fairfax's 
in  Hull,  were  in  much  the  same  position  as  Antwerp  was 
in  September,  19  L4. 

John  Hodgson,  who  had  been  shot  in  two  places,  and 
cut  in  several  in  the  Tadcaster  fight,  was  taken  prisoner 
as  he  was  escaping  from  Bradford,  stript  to  his  shirt, 
and  sent  to  Leeds.  John  Brearclifie,  a  young  Halifax 
apothecary,  wrote  in  his  diary  "3rd  July,  1643,  being 
Monday,  1  clok  morn,  bradford  taken,  and  I  into 

The  local  lads — and  girls — must  have  had  some 
stirring    adventures    during    that    first    week    of   July. 

JOSEPH  lister's  adventures.  151 

Joseph  Lister  was  sixteen  years  old  at  the  time,  and 
apprenticed  to  a  Mr.  Sharpe,  who  had  fought  in  the 
defence  of  Bradford,  and  then  escaped  to  Colne  in 
Lancashire.  Joseph  stayed  in  Bradford,  and  saw  the 
Royalist  soldiers  carrying  away  everything  that  was 
worth  selling.  In  their  search  for  treasure,  these  soldiers 
emptied  all  the  beddings  and  meal  bags,  and  the  streets 
of  Bradford  were  full  of  chaff,  feathers,  and  meal.  As 
Lister  knew  all  the  by-ways,  he  offered  to  guide  one  of 
the  Parliamentary  soldiers  safely  out  of  the  town.  After 
leaving  Bradford,  they  fell  in  with  two  more  of  Fairfax's 
men.  Presently  one  of  the  enemy's  horse  soldiers 
discovered  them,  and  the  four  ran  across  a  field.  Joseph 
Lister  crept  into  a  thick  holly  bush,  and  by  pulling  down 
the  boughs,  hid  himself.  The  other  three  were  taken 
prisoners,  one  being  wounded.  Lister  heard  the  horse- 
man asking  where  was  the  fourth,  but  he  could  not  be 
found.  "I  have  often  thought  since,"  he  wrote,  "how 
easily  we  might  have  knocked  him  down  if  we  had  had 
but  any  courage;  but,  alas!  we  had  none."  Joseph 
remained  in  the  hedge  until  dark,  and  then  set  off"  to 
Colne,  where  he  found  his  master.  Mr.  Sharpe  asked 
him  if  he  durst  venture  back  to  Bradford,  to  see  how 
Mrs.  Sharpe  was  faring.  Back  he  went,  and  found  a 
cellar  in  the  town,  where  he  slept,  and  in  the  morning, 
on  enquiring  for  the  dame,  he  found  she  had  gone  to 
Halifax.  After  her,  to  Halifax,  went  Lister  with  his 
master's  message  and  some  money.  Mrs.  Sharpe  sent  him 
back  to  Colne  for  further  instructions.  His  master  said  "Go 
thou  and  tell  thy  dame  to  go  home,  and  go  thou  with 
her.  Go  to  the  camp  and  buy  a  cow,  and  get  the  land 
mowed.  Get  help  to  get  the  hay,  and  perhaps  the 
enemy  will  be  called  away  shortly."       They  bought  a 


COW  and  drove  it  home,  and  the  same  day  the  soldiers 
came  and  took  it.  They  bought  another,  and  that  also 
was  taken.  So  Lister  set  off  to  Colne  for  further  advice, 
which  Mr.  Sharpe  gave  by  saying  they  must  do  as  they 
thought  best,  for  he  had  made  up  his  mind  to  go  to 
Manchester,  and  re-join  the  army.  In  the  week 
following  the  Battle  of  Adwalton,  the  Royalists  entered 
Halifax,  and  Sir  Francis  Mackworth  made  the  town  his 

When  the  foundations  were  being  dug  for  St.  Joseph's 
School,  a  few  cannon  balls,  horseshoes,  and  a  sword  were 
unearthed,  and  these  relics  are  now  in  Bankfield  Museum. 
The  place  is  known  as  Bloody  Field,  and  evidently  a 
skirmish  was  fought  here  during  the  Civil  War,  but  we 
have  no  written  record  of  any  fight.  Mack  worth's  entry 
to  the  town  may  have  been  disputed  at  this  point,  or 
the  rearguard  of  Sir  Thomas  Fairfax's  force  may  have 
been  attacked  after  Adwalton  Battle. 

Most  of  the  Halifax  people  fled  over  the  Lancashire 
border  before  the  Cavalier  soldiers  came  to  the  town. 
They  buried  their  valuables,  or  hid  them,  and  some  of 
the  old  deeds  at  Shibden  Hall  show  signs  of  mildew 
because  they  were  buried  at  this  time.  The  soldiers 
searched  the  Workhouse  Offices,  but  found  nothing  but 
a  bottle  on  the  window-bottom.  Mr.  Priestley's  house 
in  Soyland  was  pillaged  several  times,  and  Ewood, 
near  Mytholmroyd,  was  plundered,  and  Mr.  Farrar's 
deeds  and  papers  taken.  On  August  14th,  Sir  Francis 
Mackworth  issued  a  special  order  forbidding  pillage  upon 
pain  of  death. 

The  Halifax  Befugees  went  to  various  places  in 
Lancashire.  John  Brearcliffe  went  to  Bury,  where  he 
met  Dorothy  Meadowcroft,  and  afterwards  married  her. 


John  Hodgson  was  released  by  the  RoyaHsts,  and  made 
his  way  to  Rochdale,  where  he  had  fever.  The  Rev. 
Henry  Roote,  minister  at  Halifax  Church,  went  to 
Manchester.  Mr.  Alte,  who  had  been  at  Hahfax  Church, 
was  at  the  time  minister  of  Bury,  and  he  took  some  of 
the  refugees  into  his  parsonage,  while  others  were  lodged 
among  the  people  of  Bury.  John  Wilkinson,  of  Bracken- 
bed,  died  at  Rochdale  during  the  exile.  Mrs.  Lister  of 
Shibden,  was  buried  at  Manchester,  and  in  Bury  Church 
registers  is  recorded  the  burial  of  Robert  Broadley,  "  a 
very  godly  man,  exiled  from  Halifax,  sojourning  at 
Hey  wood."  Future  historians  will  find  in  our  registers, 
the  names  of  poor  Belgians,  who  have  died  in  our  district 
as  refugees.  The  eastern  towns  of  Lancashire  were 
crowded  with  refugees  from  the  West  Riding,  for  the 
Parliament's  force  in  Lancashire  had  beaten  the  Lan- 
cashire Royalists,  and  Manchester  was  the  head- quarters 
of  the  victorious  army.  In  Yorkshire,  as  we  have  seen, 
the  victory  was  for  the  other  side,  and  the  Royalists  had 
won  the  Yorkshire  "  county  match  "  in  a  most  decisive 

The  position  now  was  that  Sir  Francis  Mackworth 
held  Halifax  ;  Lieutenant  Colonel  Wentworth  with  his 
regiment  of  cavalry,  was  stationed  at  King  Cross  and 
Sowerby  Bridge,  to  watch  the  road  from  Lancashire; 
and  other  outposts  were  planted  at  Roils  Head,  and 
Sentry  Edge  in  Warley,  to  guard  the  road  leading  to 
Burnley  and  Colne.  Mackworth  knew  that  danger  only 
threatened  from  the  west,  and  he  appears  to  have  been 
reluctant  to  attempt  an  invasion  of  Lancashire.  The 
Roundheads  at  Manchester  were  on  the  alert,  and 
Rosworm,  a  clever  engineer,  constructed  earthworks  at 
Blackstone  Edge,  and  a  force  was  sent  to  occupy  the 


pass.  The  borderland  of  hill  and  moor  was  a  sufficient 
obstacle  to  keep  either  side  from  attempting  an  attack 
on  the  other,  and  the  western  portion  of  our  parish  was 
a  "  no-man's  land "  between  the  two  armies.  Joseph 
Priestley  of  Goodgreave,  had  fled  into  Lancashire  with 
his  brothers,  but  having  made  up  his  mind  to  go  to 
London,  he  thought  he  would  pay  a  visit  to  his  wife. 
He  was  leading  his  horse  down  the  steep  side  from 
Blackstone  Edge  in  a  thick  mist,  when  he  walked  into 
a  Royalist  troop,  and  was  taken  prisoner.  He  was 
imprisoned  with  some  others  in  the  corner  house  in 
Southgate,  where  he  caught  a  fever,  due  to  the  dirty  state 
of  the  streets,  and  died. 

There  was  also  the  other  reason  why  these  opposing 
armies  never  came  to  battle  —because  it  was  so  difficult 
to  persuade  men  to  fight  outside  their  own  county. 
However,  there  were  plenty  of  West  Kiding  men  in 
Lancashire  who  were  tired  of  being  inactive,  and  they 
decided  to  organize  a  small  force  to  attack  the  Royalists. 
On  October  1 4th,  Colonel  Bradshaw  agreed  to  command 
them.  Notices  were  sent  to  sixteen  churches  asking  all 
Yorkshiremen  to  meet  at  Rochdale  on  October  1 7tli, 
1643.  It  may  seem  to  us  a  strange  announcement  to  be 
given  from  a  pulpit.  But  this  was  to  a  large  extent  a 
religious  war,  and  those  sixteen  ministers  would  be  on 
the  Puritan  side,  and  besides,  the  church  was  the  great 
public  meeting-place  in  those  days,  and  many  public 
announcements  were  made  in  church.  The  Yorkshiremen 
chose  Heptonstall  as  their  base  of  operations,  and  thus 
commenced  a  small  local  campaign  around  Halifax. 
Heptonstall  was  an  ideal  place  for  a  military  camp.  On 
three  sides  are  high  steep  slopes,  with  the  Hebden, 
Calder,  and  Golden  streams  at  their  feet.      Behind  the 


town,  moorland  roads  lead  over  the  hills  into  Lancashire. 
It  is  a  remarkably  strong  position,  with  a  fine  route  for 
retreat  if  the  worst  came  to  pass.  The  Yorkshiremen 
had  the  advantage  of  knowing  every  inch  of  the  difficult 
country  between  Heptonstall  and  Halifax.  They  knew 
all  the  paths  across  Cragg  Vale  to  Sowerby,  and  all  the 
short  cuts  across  Midgley  Moor  and  Luddenden  Dean, 
while  Mackworth's  men  were  strangers  to  these  parts. 

On  the  19th  and  20th  of  October,  1643,  the  West 
Riding  men  came  to  Heptonstall.  There  were  270  or 
280  musketeers ;  between  50  and  60  horse  soldiers ;  and 
400  or  500  club-men.  On  the  next  day,  Saturday  the 
21st,  they  marched  from  Heptonstall  over  Hathershelf 
to  occupy  Sowerby  Town,  and  every  day  there  were 
skirmishes  between  them  and  the  E/oyalisfc  garrison  of 

The  sketch  will  help  us  to  follow  this  Halifax 
campaign,  but  better  still  by  taking  a  short  walk  into 
Warley,  we  may  be  able  to  see  practically  the  whole  of 
the  ground.  It  is  important  to  remember  that  there 
was  no  road  along  the  Calder  Valley.  The  main  road 
from  Halifax  to  Heptonstall,  was  via  Highroad  Well  and 
Newlands  to  Luddenden.  Then  it  climbed  straight  up 
the  opposite  hill-side,  through  Midgley  Town  to  Mount 
Skip,  then  past  Wadsworth  Lanes  it  dropped  to  the 
Hebden  at  Hebden  Bridge.  From  the  bridge,  the 
road  went  up  the  steep  Buttress  to  Heptonstall. 
Beyond  Heptonstall,  the  route  was  along  the  Long 
Causeway  (the  ancient  crosses  on  the  Causeway  denote 
how  very  old  this  road  is);  or  the  traveller  could  take  the 
Widdop  track  into  Lancashire.  It  is  the  old  pack  horse 
road  from  Halifax  to  Lancashire,  and  as  historically 
interesting  as  the  Magna  Via  to  Wakefield.      From  the 

156  .    THE  STORY  OF  OLD  HALIFAX. 

hill-side  about  Westfield  in  Warley,  we  obtain  a  splendid 
view  of  this  section  of  the  Calder  Valley  with  Heptonstall 
in  the  distance,  perched  on  a  spur  of  the  flanking  hills, 
and  in  imagination  we  may  see  the  Heptonstall  forces 
sallying  out  to  annoy  Mackworth's  rften. 

On  Monday,  October  23rd,  Colonel  Bradshaw,  Captain 
Taylor,  and  two  Lancashire  companies  marched  along 
this  Height  Road,  until  they  came  to  the  Hollins  in 
Warley  (James  Murgatroyd's  old  home).  The  Cavaliers 
were  inside  the  house,  but  their  resistance  was  soon 
overcome.  The  defenders  threw  the  stone  slates  off  the 
roof  on  to  the  attackers.  The  oak  door  could  not  be 
battered  in,  and  the  mullioned  windows  were  too  narrow 
for  a  man  to  get  his  shoulders  through.  At  length  one 
of  the  stone  mullions  was  hacked  away,  and  the  house 
was  entered.  Forty -three  soldiers,  and  two  officers  were 
taken  back  to  Heptonstall  as  prisoners.  Only  one  of  the 
attackers  was  hurt — by  a  slate — and  he  soon  recovered. 

The  guards  who  were  on  duty  on  the  next  Sunday 
night,  reported  "  sore  streaming  in  the  night,  being  all 
the  night  as  light  as  moonlight. "  There  was  probably 
a  fine  display  of  shooting  stars,  and  in  those  days  people 
thought  that  the  stars  foretold  important  events.  Sir 
Francis  Mackworth  made  up  his  mind  to  clear  this 
enemy  out  of  his  territory,  and  gave  orders  for  Hepton- 
stall to  be  taken  on  November  1st.  Between  three  and 
four  o'clock  on  that  dark  morning,  an  army  marched  out 
of  Halifax  composed  of  about  four  hundred  musketeers, 
and  four  hundred  cavalry.  They  had  chosen  a  bad  day, 
and  "  there  was  great  wind  and  rain  in  their  faces. " 
They  attempted  to  scale  the  heights  at  Heptonstall,  but  the 
defenders  drove  them  back,  and  rolled  great  rocks  down 
the  hillside  on  to  the  Boyalists.       Some  of  Mackworth's 



men  fell  down  a  scar  and  were  killed,  and  others  were 
drowned  in  the  flooded  Hebden.  A  hundred  foot,  and 
fifty  horse  pursued  the  retreating  Royalists  to  Luddenden. 
Forty  prisoners  including  three  commanders  were  taken, 
and  sent  to  Rochdale. 

One  of  the  Priestley's  of  Goodgreave,  Soy  land,  who 
was  with  the  Heptonstall  force,  saw  a  wounded  Royalist 
in  danger  of  drowning,  and  jumped  into  the  stream  and 
rescued  him.  The  same  night,  Priestley  went  on  guard 
in  his  wet  clothes,  caught  a  chill  and  died  in  three  weeks. 
The  Parliamentary  commander.  Colonel  Bradshaw,  died 
on  December  8th,  and  Major  Eden  took  over  the 
command.  Many  of  .the  men  who  spent  that  Christmas 
around  the  camp  fire  at  Heptonstall,  had  been  in 
Bradford  the  previous  Christmas,  defending  that  town 
against  Sir  William  Savile. 

On  January  4th,  1644,  Major  Eden  marched  his  little 
army  through  Sowerby,  leaving  Captain  Helliwell's 
company  to  guard  his  camp.  At  Sowerby  Bridge  he 
encountered  the  Royalists,  killed  three,  and  captured 
Captain  Clapham  and  forty  men.  Captain  Farrar  and 
his  cavalry,  chasing  the  retreating  Royalists  towards 
Halifax,  ventured  too  far,  and  could  not  regain  their 
main  force  at  Sowerby  Bridge.  Mackworth's  outposts 
at  King  Cross  and  Sentry  Edge,  blocked  the  direct  route 
back  to  Heptonstall,  so  Farrar  appears  to  have  led  his 
men  across  Halifax  Moor  and  Ovenden  Wood,  with  the 
intention  of  crossing  the  head  of  Luddenden  Dean  and 
the  moors,  to  Heptonstall.  They  were  checked  in 
Mixenden,  and  obliged  to  fight  on  the  slope  between 
Hunter  Hill  and  Mixenden  Brook.  Portions  of  gun 
barrels,  locks,  and  flints  have  been  found  on  Hunter  Hill. 
The  traditional  name  of  the  place  is  Bloody  Field,  and  a 


part  of  Binns  Hole  Clough  is  called  Slaughter  Gap. 
Captain  Farrar  and  nine  of  his  men  were  obliged  to 
surrender,  and  one  of  his  men  was  slain.  Three  of  the 
prisoners  were  hanged  forthwith,  near  the  Gibbet,  for 
deserting  from  Sir  Francis  Mackworth's  force.  The 
remainder  of  the  troop  reached  Heptonstall,  bringing  a 
Mr.  Thompson  with  them,  having  made  him  a  prisoner 
at  Moor  end.  Sir  Francis  Mackworth  sent  to  Keighley 
for  fifteen  hundred  more  men,  and  on  January  9th,  the 
Keighley  and  Halifax  soldiers  set  out  once  again  to 
attack  Heptonstall.  Major  Eden  had  news  of  their 
approach,  and  he  left  the  town,  taking  all  his  prisoners 
and  munitions  of  war.  He  retreated  along  the  Long 
Causeway,  through  Stiperden  to  Burnley,  and  on  the 
next  day  his  forces  reached  Colne.  The  Boyalists 
entered  an  empty  town,  and  gained  a  barren  victory. 
They  pillaged  Heptonstall,  and  set  fire  to  fourteen 
houses  and  barns.  On  January  14th,  Major  Eden's  men 
joined  Sir  Thomas  Fairfax's  Army  at  Manchester.  They 
saw  some  fighting  in  Cheshire,  and  afterwards  re-joined 
Lord  Fairfax  in  East  Yorkshire.  Sir  Francis  Mackworth 
had  driven  his  enemies  out  of  this  district,  but  he  only 
enjoyed  three  weeks  undisputed  sway,  for  on  January 
28th,  1644,  the  King's  Army  left  Halifax,  after 
possessing  it  for  six  months. 

The  evacuation  of  Halifax  was  due  to  the  fact  that 
a  Scottish  Army  crossed  the  border  on  January  19th, 
pledged  to  fight  for  the  Parliament.  On  July  2nd,  the 
great  battle  of  Marston  Moor  was  fought,  where 
Cromwell  and  his  fellow  generals  won  a  decisive  victory, 
and  the  north  of  England  was  gained  for  the  Parliament. 
Cromwell's  military  genius  evolved  the  New  Model 
Army — an  army  that   was  eflScient  and  ready  to  fight 


anywhere  against  the  King.  Thus  a  stop  was  put  to 
the  wasteful  and  unsatisfactory  county  fighting.  The 
Battle  of  Naseby  w^as  won  by  this  army  on  June  14th, 
1645,  and  the  King  was  utterly  defeated. 

In  1645,  the  Scottish  Army  was  quartered  in  the 
West  Riding,  and  a  large  number  of  the  soldiers  were 
billeted  in  Halifax.  Their  leaders  were  anxious  to 
return  home,  for  in  their  absence  Montrose  had  raised  a' 
Highland  Army  for  the  King's  side.  The  coming  of  the 
Scots  to  our  town,  was  probably  one  of  the  causes  of  the 
Plague  which  afflicted  Halifax.  The  town  was  over- 
crowded, and  the  badly-drained,  narrow  streets  became 
filthy.  In  August,  1645,  there  were  84  deaths;  in 
September,  153;  October,  216;  and  in  November,  76. 
These  figures  are  terrible  for  the  small  population. 
Tradition  says  that  everyone  living  in  the  Mulcture 
Hall  was  carried  off  by  the  disease.  Another  story, 
states  that  the  soldiers  and  other  travellers,  in  order  to 
avoid  the  town,  went  round  by  "Trooper"  Lane,  instead  of 
down  by  the  Church,  and  up  the  Old  Bank.  In  order 
to  escape  the  infection,  the  Sowerby  Constables  had  a 
chain  across  the  road  near  Sowerby  Bridge,  and  kept 
watch  that  no  suspected  person  entered  their  town. 
There  had  been  plagues  in  the  district  before  this  out- 
break. In  1631,  fifty-five  Ovenden  people  died,  and 
were  buried  near  their  own  houses.  Thirty-one  of  the 
fifty-five  died  in  the  month  of  August,  and  the  centre  of 
the  pestilence  appears  to  have  been  at  Cock  Hill,  near 
Bradshaw.  In  the  same  year  Heptonstall  was  visited, 
and  107  carried  off  by  the  Plague. 

The  Scottish  leaders  and  the  English  Parliament 
disagreed  on  religious  questions.  The  former  allies 
became  enemies,  and  the  Scots  made  a  secret  agreement 


with  King  Charles,  promising  to  raise  an  army  to 
support  the  King.  This  army,  under  the  command  of 
the  Marquis  of  Hamilton,  crossed  the  border  into 
England  in  April,  1648.  Cromwell  hurried  northward 
to  meet  the  Scots,  but  he  was  not  quite  certain  as  to  the 
route  Hamilton  intended  to  take,  for  the  Scots  had  the 
choice  of  the  Lancashire  side  of  the  Pennines,  or  the 
York  Plain.  Cromwell  marched  through  Doncaster  and 
Kparesborough,  to  Skipton,  and  then,  discovering  that 
his  opponents  had  decided  on  the  western  route, 
Cromwell  hurried  through  the  great  Aire  Gap,  and  the 
forces  met  at  Preston.  Our  district  had  to  provide  food 
for  Cromwell's  men,  and  we  know  that  Sowerby  provided 
on  one  occasion  "  20  hundredth  of  bread,"  costing  over 
£20,  2  cows,  beans,  and  other  provisions.  Six  pack 
horses  laden  with  supplies  were  sent  to  Addingham  on 
August  13th,  and  on  the  18th,  ten  horse  loads  were  sent 
to  Skipton,  but  as  Cromwell  had  left  that  town,  the 
pack-horses  had  to  follow  the  army  further  up  Airedale. 
John  Hodgson,  the  Halifax  man  who  had  left  Coley 
Chapel  to  fight  at  Bradford,  stayed  in  the  army  for  the 
duration  of  the  wars,  and  he  wrote  an  interesting- 
account  of  his  adventures.  Hodgson  was  with  Major 
General  Harrison's  army  at  Penrith  when  the  Scots 
crossed  the  border,  and  they  were  obliged  to  retreat 
until  they  met  Cromwell  at  Eipon.  Major  Poundall  and 
Hodgson  were  in  command  of  the  advance  guard  of 
Cromwell's  army,  and  the  General  ordered  them  to 
attack  before  half  of  their  men  had  come  up.  The 
enemy's  bullets  went  high  over  their  heads,  so  Hodgson's 
men  charged,  and  appear  to  have  fought  bravely. 
Hodgson  was  in  the  thick  of  the  fighting,  and  came  out 
unscathed.  The  result  of  the  Preston  Battle  was  an 
overwhelming  victory  for  Cromwell.     Hodgson's  greatest 


day  was  at  the  Battle  of  Dunbar.  Cromwell  invaded 
Scotland  in  1650,  and  at  the  beginning  of  September, 
found  himself  in  a  perilous  position  at  Dunbar,  hemmed 
in  by  the  Scottish  Army,  which  was  astride  the  south 
road  to  England.  Oliver  Cromwell  actually  sent  a  letter 
to  the  Governor  of  Newcastle,  telling  him  what  to  do  if 
the  English  Army  was  cut  up.  But  the  Scots  were 
impatient,  and  instead  of  waiting,  they  came  down  from 
their  hill-top  to  attack  Cromwell.  The  General  seized 
his  chance,  and  ordered  his  men  to  advance.  Very  early 
in  the  morning,  Hodgson's  company,  along  with  others, 
met  the  enemy,  and  with  "push  of  pike,  and  butt-end  of 
the  musket "  drove  them  back.  Cromwell  himgelf  rode 
in  the  rear  of  Hodgson's  regiment  and  gave  them  orders, 
and  presently  the  whole  of  the  armies  were  in  battle,  and 
the  Scots  were  driven  off  in  confusion.  "And  over  St. 
Abb's  Head  and  the  German  Ocean,  just  then,  burst  the 
first  gleam  of  the  level  sun  upon  us,"  and  John  Hodgson 
tells  "  I  heard  Nol  say,  '  Now  let  God  arise,  and  His 
enemies  be  scattered,'  and,  following  us  as  we  slowly 
marched,  I  heard  him  say  '  I  profess  they  run! '  "  The 
Scots  were  defeated,  and  the  General  made  a  halt,  and 
sang  the  Hundred-and-seventeenth  Psalm  until  the 
horse  could  reform  for  the  pursuit.  ^  -SiS'   w^1 

Dunbar  was  probably  Cromwell's  greatest  victory, 
and  Carlyle  has  written  a  fine  description  of  the  battle, 
based  on  Hodgson's  account.  After  Dunbar,  John 
Hodgson  was  made  a  Captain  in  Cromwell's  own 
regiment.  Captain  Hodgson  was  a  soldier  for  eighteen 
years,  and  served  part  of  the  time  at  sea  under  the 
famous  Admiral  Blake,  against  the  Dutch. 

We  have  followed  the  Civil  Wars  from  the  Par- 
liamentary   side,    because    the    local    accounts    of    the 


fighting  were  written  by  men  of  that  side,  and  because 
the  large  majority  of  Halifax  men  were  so-minded.  It 
is  only  fair  to  mention  some  of  the  Royalists.  Langdale 
Sunderland,  of  High  Sunderland,  was  brother-in-law  to 
Sir  Marmaduke  Langdale,  one  of  the  King's  Generals, 
and  so  he  commanded  a  troop  of  horse  in  Sir  Marmaduke's 
army.  Langdale  Sunderland  had  to  pay  a  heavy  fine  for 
taking  up  arms  against  the  Parliament,  and  he  was 
obliged  to  sell  the  family  estates  at  High  Sunderland 
and  Coley  Hall.  In  that  way  the  Sunderlands  lost  High 
Sunderland,  after  living  there  for  four  hundred  years. 
Nathan  Drake  of  Godley,  was  one  of  the  garrison 
that  held  Pontefract  Castle  so  long  for  the  King,  and  he 
wrote  a  diary  of  the  siege.  Richard  Gledhill,  of  Bark- 
island  Hall,  was  killed  at  Marston  Moor  on  the  Royalist 
side.  He  had  been  knighted  by  the  Earl  of  Newcastle. 
Matthew  Broadley,  of  Lane  Ends,  Hipperholme,  was 
Purveyor  and  Paymaster-General  to  the  King's  Forces. 
He  was  a  very  rich  man,  and  lent  money  to  King  Charles. 

*' Local  Incidents  in  the  Civil  War,"  by  H.  P.  Kendall. 

(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  1909,  1910,  1911). 
"Three  Civil  War  Notes": — 

1.  Official  Despatch  on  Adwalton  Battle. 

2.  Halifax  Refugees  in  Lancashire. 
8.  Mixenden's  Bloody  Field. 

By  T.  W.  Hanson.        (Hx.  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  1916). 

••  Refusal  of  Knighthood  by  Halifax  Landowners  in  1630-32." 

(Halifax  Guardian  Almanack,  1903). 
**  Autobiography  of  Captain  John  Hodgson." 

Reprinted,  with  notes  by  J.  Horsfall  Turner. 







"We  came  to  Halifax  9  Febr.  1644,  being  Thursday," 
says  John  BrearcKffe,  and  as  he  took  pains  to  record  the 
local  events  of  this  period,  it  is  fitting  that  we  should 
have  a  few  particulars  of  the  man  himself.  John  Brear- 
clifie  was  the  son  of  Edmund  Brearcliffe,  who  was  Parish 
Clerk  for  Dr.  John  Favour.  The  Vicar  was  godfather  to 
the  little  boy  when  John  was  baptised  on  August  29th, 
1618.  Dr.  Favour  died  live  years  later,  and  left  £5  for 
his  godson.  Brearcliffe  is  thus  a  connecting  link  between 
the  Puritans  of  Dr.  Favour's  age,  and  the  later  Puritans 
who  fought  against  King  Charles.  Brearcliffe  was  one 
of  the  Heptonstall  garrison,  and  we  owe  our  knowledge 
of  the  local  skirmishes  almost  entirely  to  the  account 
that  he  wrote  of  the  fighting. 

In  1651,  a  Commission  was  appointed  to  enquire  into 
all  the  local  charitable  bequests.  Brearcliffe  was  one  of 
the  jurymen,  and  he  wrote  out  a  full  account  of  the 
findings  of  the  Pious  Uses  Commission.  Witnesses  were 
called  to  prove  how  much  money  had  been  left  to  Heath 
Grammar  School,  and  how  it  had  been  spent,  and  the 
Governors  of  the  Workhouse  had  to  render  an  account 
of  their  trust.  Executors  of  wills,  where  money  had 
been  left  for  the  poor,  or  the  church,  or  repairing  of 
highways  and  bridges,  or  for  other  pious  uses,  brought 
their  papers  to  show  that  their  affairs  were  quite  in 
order.  There  is  no  doubt  that  by  this  enquiry,  Halifax 
people  saved  many  a  valuable  legacy  that  might  have 
lapsed  or  been  forgotten. 

HALIFAX  S  FIRST  M. p.  165 

On  July  12th,  1654,  Halifax  elected  its  first  Member 
of  Parliament.  Manchester,  Leeds,  and  Halifax  were 
the  only  new  towns  that  received  this  privilege,  and  it 
shows  that  Halifax  was  becoming  a  place  of  some 
importance.  Our  first  member  represented  the  whole 
parish,  or  the  area  that  is  now  covered  by  the  Sowerby, 
EUand,  and  Halifax  Parliamentary  Divisions.  In  the 
Brearcliffe  Manuscript  is  a  full  list  of  the  59  men  who 
voted  for  Jeremy  Bentley  of  Elland,  first  M.P.  for 
Halifax.  Among  the  voters  were  Mr.  William  Farrar, 
of  Ewood ;  Mr.  Joshua  Horton,  of  Sowerby ;  Eobert 
Ramsden,  Stoneyroyd  ;  John  Lister,  of  Upper  Brear  ; 
Samuel  Bentley,  Well  Head;  Arthur  Hanson,  Brighouse; 
Joseph  Fourness,  Boothtown ;  and  John  Brearcliffe. 
Jeremy  Bentley  and  his  Hahfax  friends  tried  to  get 
another  privilege,  and  a  meeting  of  all  the  townships 
was  called  for  August  14th,  1654,  to  secure  a  Corporation 
for  Halifax.  They  were  not  successful  in  their  attempt 
to  make  the  parish  into  a  borough.  We  do  not  know 
why  the  grant  of  incorporation  was  refused,  but  we  may 
surmise  that  the  vast  area  was  considered  too  large  for 
one  borough. 

Cromwell  and  his  soldiers  are  blamed  for  damaging 
a  great  many  churches.  An  earlier  Cromwell  was  the 
responsible  minister,  under  Henry  YHL,  for  the 
destruction  of  the  monasteries,  and  the  spoliation  of 
the  churches ;  and  people  have  charged  Oliver  with 
deeds  that  Thomas  Cromwell  really  committed.  But 
whatever  happened  at  other  places,  Halifax  Parish 
Church  was  well  cared  for  during  the  Commonwealth 
period.  We  have  to  thank  John  Brearcliffe  for  the 
attention  paid  to  the  fabric  of  the  church,  for  he  was  a 
man  of  influence  in  public  affairs,  and  an  antiquary  full 


of  reverence  for  the  historic  building.  Brearclifie 
compiled  a  list  of  the  priests  and  parsons  who  had  been 
vicars,  and  he  collected  th^ir  coats  of  arms.  He  painted 
these  arms  in  their  correct  colours  on  panels,  which  were 
placed  in  the  church  vestry.  These  panels,  dimmed 
with  age,  are  still  there,  and  later  vicars  have  added 
their  arms  to  the  cpllection.  After  Brearclifie  died,  the 
large  panels  of  the  roof  of  the  church  were  decorated 
with  the  arms  of  the  vicars  and  local  families,  and 
Halifax  Church  is  the  only  one  that  is  so  decorated. 

Brearclifie  bound  the  early  Eegisters,  and  so  helped 
to  preserve  them.  He  made  a  catalogue  of  the  Church 
Library,  and  hunted  up  some  books  that  had  been 
borrowed  years  before.  He  had  the  rusty  book-chains 
oiled,  new  chains  fitted  to  the  volumes,  also  giving  a 
sixpence  to  two  men  to  take  all  the  books  out  to  air 
them.  While  Brearclifie  was  Overseer,  he  mended  the 
screens,  and  attended  to  other  minor  repairs.  The 
Royal  Arms  were  taken  down,  and  the  State's  Arms 
put  up  in  their  place.  The  Scotch  soldiers,  while  they 
were  encamped  about  Halifax,  removed  the  old  font 
from  the  church,  because  they  considered  it  a  relic  of 
superstition.  The  beautiful  font  cover  was  left  swinging 
in  the  church  for  five  years,  and  then  in  1650  it  was 
taken  to  a  Mr.  Hartley's  parlour,  and  remained  there  for 
ten  years. 

During  the  Commonwealth  period,  several  beautiful 
windows  were  inserted  on  the  north  and  south  sides  of 
the  choir,  and  at  the  west  end,  some  of  which  were  the 
gift  of  Mistress  Dorothy  Water  house,  the  widow  of  the 
great  benefactor.  These  windows  are  plain  glass — not 
stained — and  the  leads  are  arranged  in  a  beautiful 
pattern.      Their  design  is  excellent,  and  they  are  quite 



unique,   for  no  other   church    has   such   Commonwealth 

Fjg.  64.— Commonwealth  Window  in  Halifax  Church. 

The  Civil  War  was  a  religious  war,  and  when  [the 
Puritans  came  into  power,  they  made  many  sweeping 
alterations  in  the  English  Church.  Dr.  Marsh  had  been 
vicar  of  Halifax,  also  holding  several  other  good  livings 
in  the  Church.  He  w^as  one  of  the  King's  chaplains, 
and  attended  Charles  I.  during  his  imprisonment.  Dr. 
Marsh  was  also  himself  imprisoned,  being  caught  on  his 
w^ay  to  join  the  forces  under  the  Earl  of  Derby.  The 
funds  belonging  to  Halifax  Church,  were  voted  to  Lord 
Fairfax  to  pay  his  soldiers.  The  chapels  of  Illingworth, 
Luddenden,  Sowerby,  etc.,  were  provided  by  the  people 
living  near  those  chapels.  Halifax  men  agreed  to  pay 
the  stipends  of  the  ministers  needed  for  Halifax  Church 


in  the  same  way.  So  that  for  some  years  Halifax  Parish 
was  disendowed,  and  ours  appears  to  be  the  only  Parish 
Church  that  was  treated  in  that  manner. 

Under  the  Commonwealth,  there  was  a  variety  of 
ministers  in  the  chapels  of  Halifax  Parish.  John  Lake, 
one  of  the  preachers  at  Halifax  Church,  was  born  in 
Petticoat  Lane,  now  called  E-ussell  Street.  He  afterwards 
became  Dean  of  York,  and  Bishop  of  Chichester,  and  is 
famous  in  English  history  for  being  one  of  the  Seven 
Bishops,  who  were  imprisoned  in  the  Tower  by  King- 
James  IL  Oliver  Heywood  of  Coley,  Isaac  Allen  of 
Bipponden,  and  Henry  Boote  of  Sowerby  ministered  at 
this  time,  when  religious  freedom  and  liberty  of  conscience 
were  questions  that  deeply  stirred  the  country. 

The  Puritans  were  very  strict  about  the  morals  of  the 
people,  and  they  so  hated  crime  that  they  revived  the 
Gibbet  Law.  The  remarkable  thing  about  the  Halifax 
Gibbet,  is  that  men  should  be  beheaded  for  stealing 
goods  of  so  paltry  a  value  as  thirteenpence  half -penny, 
and  the  custom  retained  so  long  after  it  had  fallen  into 
disuse  in  other  places.  Most  people  considered  it  to  be 
a  barbarous  practice,  and  wondered  that  it  should 
survive  at  Halifax.  In  1645,  the  stone  platform  was 
built,  which  stands  behind  the  Waterworks  Office  in 
Gibbet  Street.  In  five  years,  1645-\.6CjO,  five  men  were 
"headed"  by  the  gibbet  axe,  and  after  that  the  local  law 
was  abolished.  John  Brearcliffe,  who  was  Constable  of 
Halifax  in  1650,  wrote  an  account  of  the  last  trial,  and 
he  defended  what  he  called  the  "  Prudent,  Christian,  and 
Neighbourly  Proceedings." 

About  the  latter  end  of  April,  1650,  Abraham 
Wilkinson,  John  Wilkinson,  and  Anthony  Mitchell,  all 
of  Sowerby,  were  arrested  near  Halifax,  and  taken  into 



the  custody  of  the  Baihff  of  Hahfax.  The  BaiUff  sent 
word  to  the  Constables  of  HaUfax,  Sowerby,  Warley, 
and  Skircoat,  charging  them  to  appear  at  his  house  on 

Fig.  65.— Shaw  Booth. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Ketidall. 



April  27th,  each  bringing  four  good  men  to  form  the 
jury.  The  sixteen  jurymen  assembled  at  the  BailifiTs 
House,  where  the  prisoners,  the  stolen  goods,  and  the 
men  from  whom  the  things  had  been  stolen,  were  all 
brought  before  the  jury.  Samuel  Colbeck,  of  Shaw 
Booth  in  Luddenden  Dean,  said  that  the  three  prisoners 
had  stolen  sixteen  yards  of  russet  coloured  kersey  from 
his  tenters  on  April  19th,  and  part  of  the  cloth  was 
there  in  the  room.  John  Cusforth  of  Sandal  Parish, 
near  Wakefield,  said  that  Abraham  Wilkinson  and 
Anthony  Mitchell,  in  the  night  of  April  17th,  had  stolen 
a  black  colt  and  a  grey  colt  off  Durker  Green,  and  the 
two  colts  were  produced  for  the  jury  to  see  and  value. 
John  Fielden  said  that  Abraham  Wilkinson  had  taken  a 
whole  kersey  piece  from  the  tenters  at  Brearley  Hall 
about  Christmas  last,  and  when  he  found  part  of  the 
piece  in  Wakefield,  Isaac  Gibson's  wife  said  that 
Wilkinson  had  delivered  the  piece  to  her.  Abraham 
Wilkinson  disputed  this  last  evidence,  and  the  jury 
adjourned  the  trial  for  three  days.  On  April  30th  the 
jury  brought  in  their  verdict.  They  gave  Abraham 
Wilkinson  the  benefit  of  the  doubt  in  the  Brearley 
Hall  case.  They  valued  the  russet-coloured  kersey  at 
nine  shillings,  and  the  two  colts  at  forty-eight  shillings, 
and  three  pounds.  Abraham  Wilkinson  and  Anthony 
Mitchell  confessed  to  the  thefts,  and  both  charged  John 
Wilkinson  with  assisting  them.     The  verdict  ends:  — 

'•  By  the  ancient  Custom  and  Liberty  of  Halifax,  whereof  the  Memory 
of  Man  is  not  to  the  contrary,  the  said  John  Wilkinson  and  Anthony 
Mitchell  are  to  suffer  Death,  by  having  their  heads  sever'd  and  cut 
off  from  their  Bodies  at  Halifax  Gibbet ;  unto  which  Verdict  we 
subscribe  our  Names,  the  30th  Day  of  April,  1650." 

Then  follow  the  sixteen  names.      The  two  Sower  by 
men  were  executed  the  same  day.      Another  writer  says 



that  it  is  certain  that  the  minister  attended  the  culprits 
on  the  scaffold,  and  prayed  with  them,  while  the  4th 
Psalm  was  played  around  the  platform,  on  the  bagpipes. 
The  last  verse  of  this  psalm  is  "I  will  lay  me  down  in 
peace,  and  sleep ;  for  Thou,  Lord,  only  makest  me 
dwell  in  safety." 

SVmteilfawA^Ugy  g®gfie/cy  U  SGalifax. 

Pig.  66.— Halifax  Gibbet,  from  Camden's  "Britannia"  (1695). 


This  was  the  last  trial,  and  the  Gibbet  Book  says 
"  that  the  Gibbet  and  the  Customary  Law  got  its 
suspension  because  some  Persons  in  that  Age  judged  it 
to  be  too  severe."  The  Chief  Person  of  the  Common- 
wealth, Oliver  Cromwell,  used  these  words  when  he 
opened  the  second  Protectorate  Parliament.  "But  the 
truth  of  it  is,  there  are  wicked,  abominable  laws  that 
will  be  in  3^our  power  to  alter.  To  hang  a  man  for 
sixpence,  thirteenpence,  I  know  not  what ;  to  hang  for 
a  trifle  and  pardon  a  murder,  is  in  the  ministratioD  of 
the  law,  through  the  ill  framing  of  it.  I  have  known  in 
my  experience,  abominable  murders  quitted ;  and  to 
come  and  see  men  lose  their  lives  for  petty  matters! 
This  is  a  thing  that  God  will  reckon  for,  and  I  wish  it 
may  not  lie  upon  this  nation  a  day  longer  than  you  have 
an  opportunity  to  give  a  remedy  ;  and  I  hope  I  shall 
cheerfully  join  with  you  in  it.  This  hath  been  a  great 
grief  to  many  honest  hearts,  and  conscientious  people, 
and  I  hope  it  is  in  all  your  hearts  to  rectify  it." 

We  are  sorry  that  the  men  of  Halifax  did  not  share 
the  more  clement  ideas  of  Cromwell,  for  their  retention 
of  the  cruel  local  custom  gave  Halifax  a  bad  name. 

The  Stuart  family  was  restored  to  the  throne  of 
England  on  May  29th,  1660,  when  King  Charles  II. 
entered  London.  Soon  afterwards.  Parliament  passed 
the  Act  of  Uniformity,  whereby  all  clergymen  and 
ministers  who  refused  to  accept  the  usages  of  the 
Church  of  England  were  expelled  from  their  livings. 
Oliver  Hey  wood  of  Coley  ;  Henry  Boote  of  Sowerby  ; 
Timothy  Boote.  his  son,  of  Sowerby  Bridge ;  and  Eli 
Bent  ley  of  Halifax  were  amongst  those  who  were 
ejected.  Heywood  was  fined  for  not  attending  church, 
and  also  told  that  he  would  be  put  out  if  he  tried  to 


attend.  In  1665,  the  Five  Mile  Act  was  passed,  which 
forbade  the  ejected  ministers  to  live  within  ^Ye  miles  of 
their  old  church.  For  a  little  while.  Hey  wood  went 
back  into  Lancashire  to  live,  but  he  continued  to  preach, 
despite  the  fact  that  constables  and  soldiers  broke  up 
his  meetings,  and  notwithstanding  the  fines,  imprison- 
ment, and  other  persecutions  he  had  to  sufier.  Oliver 
Hey  wood  kept  a  diary,  and  his  note-books  are  of 
exceptional  interest  to  us,  because  he  jotted  down  all 
manner  of  details  about  the  people  and  occurrences  of 
his  time.  Thus  he  has  given  us  a  full  portrait  of  himself 
and  his  surroundings.  We  have  only  space  to  quote  a 
few  specimens  from  his  rich  store. 

Oliver  Hey  wood  was  a  very  big  man.  He  was 
weighed  at  Mr.  John  Priestley's  in  York,  August  20th, 
1681,  and  drew  seventeen  and  a  half  stones.  It  needed 
a  good  horse  to  carry  him  over  the  hilly  roads  of  our 
district,  and  he  tells  many  times  of  his  bay  horse,  his 
black  horse,  his  white  mare,  and  the  miraculous  escapes 
he  had  from  heavy  falls  on  frosty  roads  and  diflScult 
fords.  In  some  years,  he  rode  1,400  miles  on  his 
preaching  tours.  Mr.  Hey  wood  had  many  offers  from 
larger  churches,  but  he  stayed  with  his  Coley  people, 
though  his  stipend  did  not  exceed  £20  a  year,  and  often 
he  had  no  idea  where  to  obtain  his  next  meal.  Yet  he 
tells  us  that  every  Lord's  day  he  had  six  to  ten  to 
dinner,  besides  many  others  who  had  bread  and  broth, 
and  on  sacrament  days  his  maid  would  serve  fifty  people. 

From  the  diaries  we  learn  that  the  richer  people  like 
Justice  Farrar  of  Ewood,  took  their  families  to  York  for 
the  winter,  so  that  they  might  enjoy  the  social  life  of 
the  county  town,  instead  of  being  confined  to  their 
lonely  halls  during  the  inhospitable  weather.       At  the 


winter  fair  in  Halifax,  a  hundred  beasts  were  killed  in 
one  day,  besides  a  great  number  in  the  townships 
around.  The  meat  was  salted  and  hung  up,  for  the 
scattered  houses  had  to  provide  as  if  for  a  siege,  for 
they  might  be  snowed  up  for  weeks.  Hahfax  Market 
was  such  an  important  one  that  bread  was  brought  from 
places  as  far  off  as  Gomersal,  whence  Bridget  Brook  came 
regularly  with  her  bread  for  over  forty  years.  We  are 
told  of  the  dancing  and  games  on  May  Day  and  Mid- 
summer Day,  and  of  the  cock-fights  that  took  place  at 
the  Cross  Inn.  The  merriment  often  ended  in  fighting. 
The  diaries  are  also  full  of  the  doings  of  his  neighbours, 
some  good  and  some  bad.  John  Gillet  was  church- 
warden in  1665,  when  the  great  south  door  of  the 
Parish  Church  was  made,  and  his  initials  are  on  one  of 
panels.  John  would  not  help  his  father  when  he  was 
put  in  Pomfret  jail  for  debt.  Sometime  after,  Gillet's 
business  as  a  draper  went  wrong,  and  he  himself  was 
cast  into  Halifax  Prison. 

Oliver  Hey  wood's  house  is  still  to  be  seen  in  North- 
owram,  and  the  old  doorhead  has: — 

"O.  H.  A.  EBENEZER  1677." 

The  initials  stand  for  Oliver  Heywood  and  his  wife 

In  1630,  John  Tillotson  was  born  at  Haugh  End, 
Sowerby.  His  father,  Eobert  Tillotson,  was  in  the 
cloth  trade  and  lived  to  be  ninety-one.  Colne  Grammar 
School  and  Heath  Grammar  School  claim  to  have  had 
a  share  in  John's  education.  He  entered  Clare  Hall 
College,  Cambridge,  before  he  was  seventeen.  Three 
years  later  he  was  Bachelor  of  Arts,  and  attained  his 
M.A.  in  1654.  On  September  17th  of  that  year,  he 
preached  at  Halifax  Church,  while  enjoying  "a  sojourn 



in  the  bracing  air  of  Sowerby."     Tillotson  became  one  of 
the  most  famous  of  EngHsh  preachers.     In  1691,  he  was 






13?^%%  • 

Fig.  67.--HAUGH  End,  Sowerby. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

appointed  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  but  he  only  held 
the  high  office  for  three  years,  as  he  died  on  November 
22nd,  1694.     Dr.  Gordon  in  the  ''Dictionary  of  National 



Biography,"  says  "  Testimony  is  unanimous  as  to 
Tillotson's  sweetness  of  disposition,  good  humour, 
absolute  frankness,  tender-heartedness,  and  generosity." 
In  Sowerby  Church  there  is  a  fine  statue  of  Archbishop 
Tillotson,  carved  by  Joseph  Wilton,  KA.  in  1746. 


Fig.  68.— Archbishop  Tillotson's  Signature. 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

**Our  Local  Portfolio,"  edited  by  E.  J.  Walker. 

(Halifax  Guardian,  commencing  June,  1856). 

•'  Halifax  Parish  Church  under  the  Commonwealth."     (1909). 

"  Halifax  Church,*1640-1660  "  (1915-16-17).    "  The  Gibbet  Law  Book  "  (1908). 
By  T.  W.  Hanson.  (Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions). 

"Halifax  Gibbet  Law,"  with  appendix,'[reprinted  by  J.  Horsfall  Turner. 

Wright's  "Antiquities  of  Halifax,"      '         do.  do. 

"John  Tillotson,"  by  A.  Gordon.  (Dictionary  of  National  Biography). 



THE     CLOTH     HALLS     OF     LONDON     AND     HALIFAX — DEFOE  S     VISIT     TO 



REBELLION    OF    1745. 

The  Civil  War  was  bad  for  the  cloth  trade,  though 
some  of  the  Halifax  makers  carried  on  "business  as 
usual "  during  war  time.  Tom  Priestley  of  Good-greave, 
travelled  to  and  from  London  with  a  string  of  eight  or 
nine  pack-horses.  Sometimes  he  engaged  a  convoy  to 
guard  his  horses ;  at  other  times  he  ran  the  risks  of  the 
road  without  convoy,  and  during  all  that  dangerous  time 
he  lost  neither  goods  nor  horses.  He  took  £20  worth  of 
cloth  on  each  journey,  and  made  £20  clear  profit.  The 
horses  came  back  to  Halifax  laden  with  wool  from  Kent 
or  Suffolk. 

The  Exchange,  where  cloth  was  bought  and  sold  in 
London,  was  at  Blackwell  Hall.  Both  James  I.  and 
Charles  I.  had  issued  proclamations  forbidding  the  sale 
of  cloth  in  London  inns  and  warehouses.  All  the  cloth 
had  to  be  taken  to  Blackwell  Hall,  and  the  dues  went 
towards  the  support  of  Christ's  Hospital  for  the  main- 
tenance of  the  poor  children.  Many  of  the  Halifax 
manufacturers  had  agents  living  in  London,  to  sell  their 
cloth  at  Blackwell  Hall.  Joseph  Fourness  held  such  a 
position  as  a  young  man ;  afterwards  he  became  a 
partner  in  his  firm  and  built  Ovenden  Hall  for  his 
residence.  Halifax  had  a  Cloth  Hall  (sometimes  called 
Halifax  Blackwell  Hall)  as  early  as  Elizabeth's  reign, 
and  long  before  Leeds,  Bradford,  or  Huddersfield.  We 
also  had  a  Linen  Hall,  but  there  are  no  records  of  the 
linen  trade.     The  old  Cloth  Hall  stood  somewhere  near 


the  top  of  Crown  Street — hence  the  place  is  still  called 
Hall  End. 

The  lads  who  went  as  apprentices  to  the  cloth  trade 
in  the  seventeenth  century  bad  to  work  very  hard. 
Joseph  Priestley,  who  was  not  a  very  strong  youth,  said 
that  he  regularly  drove  his  master's  pack-horses  from 
Leeds  or  Wakefield,  and  when  he  reached  his  master's 
house,  he  would  be  given  but  a  mess  of  broth,  or  cold 
milk  and  bread. 

Fig.    69.— A   TUADKSMAN'S  TOKKN,   1667. 

Robert  Whatmough,  Carrier  for  Halifax. 

Daniel  Defoe  visited  Halifax  several  times  in  the 
early  part  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and  he  wrote  a 
valuable  account  of  the  local  trade,  for  he  was  always 
keenly  interested  in  the  making  of  things.  His 
"Adventures  of  Robinson  Crusoe"  are  not  primarily 
concerned  with  exploring  and  fighting,  but  w^ith  the 
making  of  his  home  and  the  supplying  of  his  daily 
needs.  The  Kev.  John  Watson,  in  his  "  History  of 
Halifax,"  says  that  Defoe  wrote  part  of  "Robinson 
Crusoe "  w^hile  staying  at  the  E-ose  and  Crown  in 

On  one  of  his  earliest  visits  ( 1 705),  Defoe  was  surprised, 
that  being  such  a  busy  trading  centre,  Halifax  had  no 
magistrates,  no  member  of  Parliament,  nor  any  officer 
but  a  constable.  In  his  "  Tour  through  Great  Britain  " 
(w^hich    he   undertook    about    1714)    Defoe    approached 

WORSTED.  179 

Halifax  from  Blackstone  Edge.  He  observed  that  the 
nearer  he  came  to  HaHfax,  the  closer  together  were  the 
houses.  The  hill-sides,  which  were  very  steep,  were 
spread  with  houses,  and  hardly  a  house  standing  out  of 
speaking  distance  from  another.  Each  house  had  three 
or  four  small  fields  attached  to  it,  a  cow  or  two  were 
kept  for  the  family,  but  little  or  no  corn  was  grown. 
Each  clothier  kept  a  horse  to  bring  his  wool  and  pro- 
visions from  the  market,  and  to  carry  his  cloth  to  the 
fulling  mill,  or  to  his  customer.  At  every  house  was  a 
tenter  on  which  hung  a  piece  of  cloth.  A  rill  of  running 
water  was  guided  past  each  house,  and  the  water  used 
for  scouring  or  dyeing. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century,  Halifax 
men  began  to  try  weaving  finer  cloths.  Their  staple 
trade  had  been  the  coarse  woollen  kerseys.  Now  they 
turned  their  attention  to  shalloons  or  worsteds,  and 
endeavoured  to  capture  the  trade  that  engaged  Norwich 
and  the  West  of  England.  There  is  a  vast  difference 
between  these  two  branches  of  the  textile  trade,  though 
the  important  difference  between  woollen  and  worsted 
may  be  explained  very  simply.  In  the  woollen  industry, 
the  wool  is  carded,  and  the  fibres  placed  side  by  side 
by  rollers  covered  with  teeth,  and  the  ribbon  of  wool  is 
spun  into  a  thick  yarn.  In  the  worsted  industry,  the 
wool  is  combed  into  long  slivers,  and  the  yarn  spun  from 
these  slivers  is  much  finer  and  brighter  than  the  woollen 
yarn.  The  short  wool  fibres  are  combed  out  of  the 
slivers,  and  sold  to  the  woollen  manufacturers. 

Samuel  Hill  of  Making  Place  in  Soyland,  was  one  of 
the  principal  local  makers  who  determined  to  capture 
the  worsted  trade.  At  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century  he  was  doing  a  large  trade  in  woollen  kerseys. 



He  had  a  quaint  way  of  marking  his  pieces,  naming  the 
various  quahties  after  members  of  his  family.  His 
price-hst  of  1738  reads  as  follows: — 

Samuel  Hill  of  Soyland       at  60. 

Sam  Hill  of  Soyland  at  56. 

Sam  and  Eliz.  Hill at  50. 

Elizabeth  Hill  at  41. 

Richard  Hill   ...         ...         at  39. 

Sam  Hill         at  37. 

James  Hill       ...  at  33^. 

Sx  Hx  Soyland  at  30." 

Fig.  70.— Making  Place 
(about  1870,  when  it  was  Mr    Dove's  Academy). 

A  few  of  Sam  Hill's  business  letters,  written  in  1738, 
have  been  preserved  and  printed.  These  letters  show 
him  to  have  been  a  keen,  hard-working  man,  blunt  and 

SAM  HILL.  181 

frank,  used  to  saying  exactly  what  he  thought.  He 
wrote  to  Hendrick  and  Peter  Kops  (merchants  on  the 
Continent): — "I  very  well  know  what  all  the  makers 
can  do,  and  when  I  cannot  serve  my  friends  as  well  or 
better,  I  will  leave  off  business."     Many  of  these  letters 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

Fig.  71.— Sam  Hill's  Pattern  Book. 

refer  to  his  experiments  in  weaving  worsteds,  and  his 
anxiety  to  attain  success  in  that  branch  of  trade.  In  a 
letter  to  an  English  merchant  he  says  "Methinks  I 
like  to  make  them,  and  fancy  I  shall  in  time  do  it  well." 
In  another  letter,  addressed  to  Mr.  Abraham  Van 
Broyes,  a  merchant   in   the   Low  Countries,  Sam    Hill 


writes  "The  narrow  Shaloons  of  the  Mark  Sam  Hill  .  .  . 
are,  I  think,  such  goods  as  I  may  say  are  not  to  be  out- 
done in  England  by  any  Man,  let  Him  be  who  He 
will."  He  also  states  that  he  commenced  the  worsted 
manufacture  to  keep  some  of  his  workmen  from  going  to 
East  Anglia,  or  the  West  of  England,  "  but,  however, 
I  think  it's  now  very  evident  these  Manufactories  will 
come,  in  spite  of  fate,  into  these  northern  Countys." 

Samuel  Hill  was  in  a  very  large  way  of  business. 
In  1747,  his  turnover  was  £35,527  6s.  8d.,  and  for 
several  years  about  that  date  he  never  sold  below 
£23,000  worth  of  cloth  per  annum.  On  February  21st, 
1744,  one  consignment  of  22  bales  to  Cornelius  and  Jan 
Van  der  Vliet  of  Amsterdam,  totalled  £2,242  12s.  The 
Soyland  cloth  was  sent  to  Amsterdam,  Rotterdam, 
Utrecht,  Antwerp,  Bremen,  and  Petrograd,  and  one 
pattern  sheet  is  endorsed  "Provided  for  St.  Petersburg, 
to  be  sent  from  there  to  Persia  by  way  of  Astracan. " 

The  introduction  of  the  worsted  trade  was  one  of  the 
great  landmarks  in  the  history  of  local  trade.  It  was 
destined  to  make  the  West  Riding  into  the  greatest 
cloth  centre  of  the  world.  It  is  easy  to  realise  the  vast 
difference  it  made  to  local  manufacturers.  In  1644, 
Tom  Priestley  of  Soyland  thought  he  was  doing  well 
when  he  sold  £20  worth  of  woollen  cloth'  in  London,  but 
a  hundred  years  later,  Sam  Hill  of  Soyland  was  selling 
£2,000  worth  of  worsteds  at  a  time,  or  a  hundred-fold 
advance  in  trade.  We  shall  see  a  little  later,  the 
difierence  this  made  in  local  architecture.  At  present 
we  must  note,  for  it  is  very  important,  that  this  gigantic 
business  was  being  conducted  from  Soyland,  a  hill-top 
hamlet  which  no  firm  of  to-day  would  select  as  a  site  for 
their  business  premises. 



Samuel  Hill  worked  in  a  different  manner  from  the 
older  clothiers.  It  was  manifestly  impossible  for  him 
and  his  family  to  weave  so  much  cloth,  and  also  im- 
possible to  have  sufficient  looms  under  his  roof  to 
produce  the  quantity.  He  gave  out  the  work  to  the 
houses  round  about  in  Soyland  and  Sowerby,  and  he 
probably  went  further  afield  in  his  busy  years.  He 
would  superintend  the  different  branches  of*  the  under- 
taking, but  he  must  have  employed  hundreds  of  men  to 
make  up  his  vast  stock. 

Pig.  72.— Entrance  to  Coal  Mink  (17th  Century)  at  Upper  Siddal  Hall. 

The  names  of  these  cloths — calamancoe,  camlet, 
grogram,  russel,  shalloon,  and  amens — are  as  old- 
fashioned  and  pretty  as  the  names  of  wild  flowers,  and 
there  is  quite  a  romance  in  some  of  these  titles.  The 
last  three  are  patterns  that  were  first  made  in  Flanders, 
and  commemorate  their  birth-places  —  Rejssel  (the 
Flemish  name  of  Lille),  Chalons-sur-Marue,  and  Amiens. 



On  the  top  of  Soil  Hill,  near  Ogden,  is  a  large  mound 
in  the  shape  of  a  ring,  and  in  the  centre  of  this  ring  is  a 
deep  hollow.  It  is  the  shaft  of  an  old  coal  mine  that  has 
been  filled  in.  Similar  holes — some  filled  with  water — 
are  to  be  found  about  Soil  Hill  and  other  places.  The 
most  interesting  relic  is  in  the  yard  at  the  back  of  Siddal 

Fig.  73.— Ruins  of  Old  Water- Wheel,  Sim  Carr  Clough,  Shibden. 

Hall,  where,  in  what  looks  like  the  arch  of  an  immense 
fireplace,  we  have  the  entrance  to  a  seventeenth  century 
coal  pit.  Then  again,  in  the  deep  clough  just  above  Sim 
Carr,  Shibden,  are  the  ruins  where  a  water  wheel  once 
pumped  the  water  from  a  neighbouring  mine.  In  the 
rocks  about  Halifax  are  thin  bands  of  coal,  and  in  many 
places,  especially  Northowram  and  Southowram,  this 
coal    is    near    the    surface,   and    was   worked    in    very 


early  days.  In  1308,  Kichard  the  Nailer  received 
permission  from  the  Lord  of  the  Manor  of  Wakefield  to 
dig  for  coals  in  the  graveship  of  Hipperholme,  and  there 
are  numerous  later  entries  on  the  Court  E-olls  referring 
to  local  coal-mining.  About  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth 
century,  the  cloth-makers  of  York,  complaining  of  the 
competition  of  the  West  E-iding  clothiers,  said  that  the 
men  about  Halifax  had  "fire,  good  and  cheap."  It 
certainly  was  a  great  advantage,  and  made  the  long 
winters  more  endurable,  to  have  such  good  fuel,  instead 
of  gathering  firewood.  Defoe  commented  on  the  wise 
providence  that  had  placed  the  coal  on  the  hill-tops,  so 
that  horses  could  go  empty  up-hill,  and  come  down 
laden  with  coal.  He  preferred  the  hills  of  Halifax  to 
the  beautiful  mountains  of  the  Lake  Country,  because 
our  hills  were  more  useful. 

In  the  eighteenth  century,  shafts  were  sunk  to  a 
depth  of  fifty  yards,  though  many  of  the  pits  were  not 
more  than  a  dozen  yards  below  the  surface.  [The  word 
"pit"  means  an  open  quarry  or  hole].  In  order  to  drain 
the  water  away  from  the  workings,  soughs  or  drifts 
were  bored  into  the  hill-side,  and  the  mine  could  not  be 
sunk  below  the  level  of  the  valley  bottom  because  of  the 
drainage.  The  first  pump  for  the  Shibden  Hall  mines 
was  bought  in  1755,  and  it  only  cost  8s.  6d.  Twenty 
years  later,  water-wheels  were  erected  at  Mytholm  at  a 
cost  of  £1,000,  to  work  the  pumps  in  Mr.  Jeremy 
Lister's  colliery.  In  1726,  the  first  Gin-horse  was  used 
at  Shibden.  The  horse  walked  round  and  round  a  ring, 
and  the  gin  wound  up  the  colliery  rope  on  the  same 
principle  as  a  capstan.  At  the  pit-head,  the  coal  was 
loaded  on  to  pack-horses,  and  carried  down  to  the  farm  - 
houses.       There   were   small   coal-pits   to    the   west   of 



Halifax,  but  coal-mining  on  an  extensive  scale  was 
confined  to  the  east  of  the  ridge  that  runs  from  Soil  Hill 
to  Elland  Park  Wood. 

In  1745,  Bonnie  Prince  Charlie  landed  in  Scotland, 
and  taking  advantage  of  the  English  defeat  at  Fontenoy, 
marched  into  England  with  his  Highland  host.  On 
November  28th,  a  sergeant,  a  woman,  and  a  drummer, 
(who  was  a  Halifax  man  'tis  said)  entered  Manchester 
in  advance  of  the  Pretender's  army,  and  gained  180 
recruits.  Two  days  later,  St.  Andrew's  Day,  Charles 
Stuart  came  to  Manchester.  Yorkshire  people  were 
naturally  alarmed  at  this  Scotch  invasion,  and  the 
deputy  lieutenants  proposed  that  the  local  forces  should 
mobilise  at  Leeds,  "  as  the  valleys  are  narrow  westward 
of  that  place,  and  the  rivers  now  overflow  their  banks." 
This  means  that  in  the  westerly  parts  about  Halifax, 
there  were  such  bad  roads,  and  so  few  bridges  that  it 
was  an  impossible  country  for  military  operations  in 
winter.  The  Jacobites  marched  as  far  south  as  Derby, 
and  then  the  Pretender  turned  tail  and  retreated 
northward  to  Scotland.  General  Wade  marched  from 
Newcastle  to  catch  the  rebels,  and  was  at  Ferry-bridge 
when  he  heard  of  the  retreat.  His  first  order  was  to 
cross  the  Pennines  and  march  through  Halifax  into 
Lancashire,  but  the  Pretender's  retreat  was  so  rapid 
that  General  Wade  had  to  aim  at  meeting  the  enemy 
farther  north,  and  therefore  Halifax  missed  seeing  the 
King's  army. 

General  Guest,  who  gallantly  held  Edinburgh  Castle 
during  the  '45  Rebellion,  was  born  at  Spout  House, 
Hove  Edge.  William  Fawcett,  who  was  born  at 
Shibden  Hall  on  Sunday,  April  30th,  1727,  (his  mother 
was  a  Lister)  became  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  British 



Army.     As  an  ensign  he  fought  at  Fontenoy,  and  with 
General  Wade's    army.       During    a    time    of   peace    he 

Fig.    74.— MAJOR-GrENEaAL  SiR   WILLIAM  FAWCETT,   K.C.B. 

translated     French     and     Prussian     army    books     into 
English.       In  the  Seven  Years  War,  Captain  Fawcett 


carried  the  despatches  to  the  King  announcing  the 
victory  of  Warburg  (July  31st,  1760).  George  II.,  who 
spoke  German  better  than  English,  was  pleased  because 
Fawcett  gave  him  a  full  account  of  the  battle  in 
German.  Promotion  followed,  and  ultimately  Sir 
WilHam  Fawcett  rose  to  be  head  of  the  British  Army. 

Many  Halifax  men  joined  the  Army  in  those  days, 
when  England  was  fighting  France,  and  some  were 
forced  to  join  the  Mihtia.  After  1757,  each  township 
had  to  prepare  lists  of  their  men  between  18  and  45 
years  of  age,  and  the  number  of  men  j-equired  for  the 
Militia  was  selected  by  ballot.  In  1776  for  instance, 
Warley  found  five  Militia  men.  Militia  Clubs  were 
formed,  and  the  members  paid  a  guinea  and  a  half. 
The  money  was  used  to  pay  for  substitutes  for  those 
members  who  were  chosen  by  the  ballot.  The  vast 
amount  of  money  spent  on  the  wars  was  a  burden 
on  the  people.  Food  was  very  dear,  and  trade  was 

*'The  Priestley  Memoirs," — (Surtees  Sofiety,  1888). 

"  A  Tour  through  Great  Britain,"  by  Daniel  Defoe. 

"  The  Letter  Books  of  Joseph  Holroyd  and  Sam  liill,"  edited  by  H.  Heaton. 
(Banktield  Museum  Notes,  1914). 

"  Making  Place  in  Soy  land,  and  the  Hill  Family,"  by  H.  P.  Kendall. 
(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  1916). 

"  Lifn  and  Letters  of  Gen.  Sir  William  Fawcett,"  by  J.  Lister. 
(EI  all  fax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  191 0-11-13-14). 

"Coal  Mining  in  Yorkshire,"  by  J.  Lister — 

in  "Old  Yorkshire,  (second  series)  1885." 




At  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century,  the 
King's  Ministers  were  so  busy  with  foreign  wars,  that 
they  had  neither  money  nor  thought  to  spare  for  home 
aiFairs.  They  neglected  the  Mint,  and  money  became 
very  scarce.  Coins  remained  in  circulation  until  their 
faces  were  rubbed  bare,  and  no  inscription  could  be  seen. 
They  also  became  smaller  with  long  usage,  and  the 
newspapers  published  tables  showing  how  much  these 
short-weight  guineas  were  worth.  Careful  tradesmen 
carried  little  scales,  weighing  the  coins  as  well  as 
counting  them,  as  they  were  passed  over  the  counter. 
In  Bankfield  Museum  there  is  a  collection  of  these  neat 
pocket  balances.  Foreign  money — Portuguese  and 
Spanish — was  legal  tender,  and  moidores,  double 
pistoles,  and  pieces  of  eight  were  used  in  England. 
Some  merchants  made  their  own  money.  Robert  Wilson 
of  Sowerby  Bridge,  boot -maker  and  general  dealer,  had 
engraved  brass  plates  which  represented  half-a-guinea. 
Gamwel  Sutcliffe  of  Stoneshey  Gate,  Heptonstall,  gave 
cards  for  change,  which  he  promised  to  redeem  for  3s.  6d. 
You  can  see  specimens  of  these  in  Bankfield. 

We  can  quite  understand  that  when  money  was  so 
rare,  most  people  did  not  know  the  difference  between  a 
good  coin  and  a  bad  one,  or  betwixt  a  light  guinea  and 
a  full-weight  one.  The  gang  of  Cragg  Yale  Coiners 
took  advantage  of  this  state  of  affairs,  and  their  method 
of  working  was  as  follows: — 

They  would  give  22s.  for  a  full-sized  guinea.  A 
piece  of  white  paper  was  spread  on  the  window-sill,  and 


with  a  pair  of  shears,  they  cut  shavings  of  gold  from  the 
edge  of  the  guinea.  Then  a  new  edge  was  filed  on  the 
coin,  and  it  was  ready  to  return  into  circulation  for  21s. 
The  gold  clippings  were  carefully  collected,  melted,  and 
struck  into  imitation  Portuguese  moidores.  At  Bank- 
field  are  some  of  the  actual  coining  dies  that  were  used 
in  Cragg  Vale.  It  is  calculated  that  forty  pennyworth 
of  gold  was  clipped  from  each  guinea.  The  moidore 
passed  for  27s.,  but  these  Cragg  Coiners  only  put  22s. 
weight  of  gold  into  their  counterfeits.  So  they  made  a 
profit  of  about  a  pound  from  seven  whole  guineas. 
David  Hartley's  father  said  they  often  treated  one 
hundred  guineas  at  a  time. 

The  geographical  position  of  the  Cragg  farms  was 
also  an  important  factor  for  the  "yellow  trade."  They  were 
not  far  away  from  Halifax,  a  busy  market  town,  where 
guineas  could  be  obtained  and  returned,  yet  at  the  same 
time  the  coiner's  houses  were  in  lonely  positions,  where 
it  was  almost  impossible  to  catch  them  by  a  surprise 
visit.  The  leader  of  the  gang,  David  Hartley  or  "King 
David  "  lived  at  Bell  House,  a  small  farmhouse  perched 
at  the  edge  of  beautiful  Bell  Hole.  His  brother  Isaac 
was  nicknamed  the  "  Duke  of  York,"  and  some  of  the 
others  also  had  royal  titles.  A  contemporary  list  names 
about  seventy  men  of  the  district,  who  were  suspected  of 
clipping  and  coining. 

About  1767,  some  Halifax  manufacturers  reported 
the  unlawful  practices  to  the  Government,  for  outsiders 
were  shy  of  accepting  Halifax  money,  but  the  official 
reply  was  that  they  could  not  spend  money  in 
prosecuting  the  coiners.  Soon  after,  William  Dighton, 
an  Excise-man  stationed  at  Halifax,  wrote  to  the 
Solicitor    of     the    Mint,     and    received    a    promise    of 


Government  support  in  any  action  he  might  take  to 
suppress  the  gang.  Mr.  Dighton  sought  for  some  Cragg 
Vale  man  who  would  turn  informer,  and  secured  the 
services  of  James  Broadbent,  who  lodged  in  Hall  Gate, 
Mytholmroyd,  and  like  most  traitors,  he  turned  out  to 
be  a  most  untrustworthy  man.  About  the  first  week  of 
October,  1769,  Dighton  met  Broadbent  at  Hebden 
Bridge,  with  the  idea  of  catching  Thomas  Clayton, 
one  of  the  ringleaders.  Clayton  lived  at  Stannery  End, 
a  lone  farmhouse  at  the  corner  of  the  Cragg  and  Calder 
valleys,  on  the  edge  of  the  moor  above  Mytholmroyd. 
He  was  a  worsted  manufacturer,  and  had  two  or  three 
looms  in  his  house.  On  the  front  of  Stannery  End, 
dates  such  as  1769  are  roughly  carved,  reminders  of  the 
exciting  years  that  the  house  then  witnessed.  However, 
when  Dighton  and  his  party  reached  Stannery  End, 
Clayton  had  gone. 

The  coiners  were  alarmed,  and  they  conspired  to 
murder  Dighton.  David  Hartley  and  some  others 
subscribed  £100,  to  be  given  to  the  man  who  killed  him. 
The  next  move  was  that  "King  David"  was  arrested  at 
the  Old  Cock  Inn,  and  a  coiner  called  Jagger,  at  the 
Cross  Pipes,  Halifax,  on  Saturday,  October  14th.  The 
two  men  were  taken  to  York  Castle,  and  Broadbent 
gave  evidence  that  he  had  seen  them  doctoring  four 
guineas.  James  Broadbent  went  from  York  to  Mytholm- 
royd, and  told  Isaac  Hartley  and  the  others  what  had 
happened.  They  persuaded  Broadbent  to  return  to 
York  to  say  that  he  had  made  a  mistake,  and  that  his 
evidence  was  wrong.  Broadbent  went  to  York  and 
elsewhere  several  times  to  recant  his  evidence,  but  the 
coiners  were  safe  in  York  Castle,  and  there  they  had 
to  stay. 


S9ft  fS  ff€^ 

C    O    I   N   E    R   S 



ON        S  U  S  IM  C  !  O   ll 

Of  Chipping,  Filing,    Edging,  aiid  Diminifliing  the  Gold  . 

Coin  of  this  Kingdom.  ^ 

ON  Wednrfday  cvfnirg,  ttn;  fth  inftjnt, 
wa^commurtH  to  York  CaOIr,  Jntin 
Picklrs,  ot  Wadfworth  Banks,  ncr 
Haii!ax,  en  fulpicion  «t  dinin  /5i)i  g 
diree  guinea?,  and  one  twrnty  fcvtn  Ihiilmg 
piedc  of  Hoftucal  gold-:  Atrr  he  was  It'iz.d 
1d>ere  were  touhd  m  his  pock  ts,  a  pair  of 
^-fciffars,  and  an  inflrument  lur  milling  iht  rdges 
Ot  goid  piccfs.  At  the  time  tne  atxive  dclca- 
qucnt  was  apprt  hrndrd,  he  *as  inanoi.Auring 
vhitc  pitces,  and  Ictnud  to  kave  his  Looms 
ycry  relu&anlj  :  He  is  an  rjderly  man,  near 
fixty,  has  a  vrnc  and  larce  iamily,  and  it  it 
fu]  pofcd  he  is  an  old  offtnOcr. 

Alfo  on  Friday  latl  was  committed  to  York 
Caftte,  John  Sutciyffe,  of  ErringUen,  in  the 
Weft  Riding,  chaijjtd  with  chipping,  fi  ini?, 
edging,  and  diminiftiing  fivcrai  guuitas,  at.d 
n  h.ilf  a  guinea. 

Alfo  on  Saturday  !art,  in  the  evening,—— 
Oidfield,  of  Mit'g'rv,  was  committed  to  York 
Caftie,  for  clij  pn  g,  coining,,  &c.  Sic. 

'  I. aft  night  in  the  evening,  the  wife  of  John 
PckVs,  ammonlv  calltd  J.ick  of  Matts, 
ali..s  J.irk  ot  I'..cket  Well,  w^s  cotKJu<acd 
thri,*  ;his  town,  iHalif.;x;  on  her  way  to 
York  Cllie,  on  hcrlcback,  with  her  h.nds 
t)'d,  and  coining  tools  in  a  bag  by  her  fide. 
As  (he  pafTid  thro"  tne  bottom  of  the  town, 
the  man  »ho  !e<t  ihr  horfc danc'd,  and  ihemob 
hoQixd  her  over  the  bt idgc.      1  h»  wcmao  bM 

been  the  moft  noted  Vender  and  procurer  in 
ihcfc  parts. 

,  At  the  time  iTie  was  taken,  her  feufbiod 
midr  his  tfcape  ;  Ifae  hkcwifr  declared,  fhou'd 
her  hufhjnd  be  taken  and  fuffer  the  law.  (he 
wi  u'd,    i,thro'  hit  information,)    bang  fgrty 

This  day  feveral  perfons  of  this  tow»  and 
parts  adjacent,  have  aljlci  nded,  as  is  luppofed' 
lor  fear  of  being  ipprehendcd. 

It  is  alfo  confidently  afTcrtcd  that  there  have 
been  above    ONE     HUNDRED    per- 

fons  informed  of,  and  that  there  -ire  now 
Warrants  out  againft  the  moft  confidcrable 
of  them. 

We  have  now  the  p'cafing  Tatisfafticn  oF 
feeing  the  Bands  of  thrfc  lormidable  lit  of 
vitlainK  btoken  :  Terror  and  difmay  have  t^ktn 
holdrn  of  thim,  am!  they  no  longer  daft  face 
the  injured  public. 

Behold  Great  Turrin,  fct  the  Time  draw  near. 
When  every  Golden  Son  fhali  Qtake  with  1- ear; 
See  Tyburn  gorged  with  piotr..atd  t'ood, 
And  honourd  with  the  Weight  ot  *  Koya)  Blocd. 

•  AlJudlug  to  fome  of  the  COINERS  Wo 
called  KINGS. 

Fig.  75.— A  Broadside  (from  Halifax  Public  Library).    . 
At  this  date  there  was  no  local  newspaper,  and  news  was  circulated  by  broadsides. 


Isaac  Hartley  was  more  than  ever  determined  to  be 
rid  of  Dighton,  and  he  deputed  Thomas  Spencer,  who 
lived  at  New  House,  Mytholmroyd,  to  find  the  assassins. 
Robert  Thomas,  who  lived  at  Wadsworth  Bank,  and 
Matthew  Normanton  of  Stannery  End,  promised  to 
shoot  the  exciseman,  and  after  several  fruitless  journeys, 
they  laid  in  wait  near  Dighton's  home  at  Bull  Close 
(now  Savile  Close)  on  November  9th,  1769.  Mrs. 
Dighton  was  sitting  up  for  her  husband,  and  soon  after 
midnight  she  heard  shots.  Fearing  the  worst,  the 
servant  girl  was  sent  to  see  what  had  happened,  and  she 
found  her  master  murdered.  Thomas  and  Normanton 
had  hidden  behind  a  wall  near  the  bottom  of  the  lane, 
now  called  Swires  Boad.  Thomas's  piece  missed  fire, 
but  Normanton's  shot  killed  the  exciseman,  and  they 
rifled  the  dead  man's  pockets.  They  set  off  to  Mytholm- 
royd by  the  usual  route  of  Highroad  Well,  Newlands 
Gate,  and  Midgley. 

An  inquest  was  held,  which  the  coroner  adjourned 
from  day  to  day,  because  there  was  no  magistrate 
within  several  miles  of  Halifax,  and  therefore  nobody 
but  the  coroner  could  examine  witnesses.  In  those  days, 
gentlemen  tried  to  keep  out  of  public  positions,  and  did 
not  appreciate  the  honour  of  serving  their  town  and 
country.  James  Broadbent,  the  informer,  was  one  of 
the  men  who  were  suspected  of  the  crime,  and  he  gave 
the  coroner  an  account  of  his  journey  from  York  on  the 
eve  of  the  murder,  in  order  to  clear  himself. 

The  government  felt  obliged  to  take  up  the  question 
of  coining,  seeing  that  one  of  their  officials  had  been  done 
to  death,  and  £100  reward  was  offered  for  the  discovery 
of  the  murderer.  The  Gentlemen  and  Merchants  of  the 
Town  and  Parish  of  Halifax  added  a  second  £100  to  the 


reward.  Broadbent  was  so  anxious  to  secure  the  £200 
that  he  made  another  confession,  and  blamed  Thomas, 
Normanton,  and  Folds  (a  cousin  of  Normanton)  for  the 
crime,  and  the  three  were  committed  to  York  Assizes. 

The  Marquis  of  Rockingham,  of  Wentworth  Wood- 
house,  came  to  Halifax  on  behalf  of  the  Government,  and 
met  the  local  gentlemen  at  the  Talbot  Inn  in  Woolshops. 
The  meeting  decided  that  the  gentry  had  done  their 
utmost,  but  they  would  exert  themselves  still  further  to 
discover  the  murderer,  and  to  stop  the  clipping  and 
coining.  The    gentlemen    also     recommended     that 

Digh ton's  family  should  receive  a   State   pension. 

Lord  Rockingham  stayed  with  Mr.  John  Royds  at 
his  new  house  in  George  Street,  (now  named  Somerset 
House)  which  was  then  the  finest  mansion  in  Halifax, 
and  contains  some  fine  plaster-work.  The  Marquis  had 
been  Prime  Minister  of  England,  and  is  famed  for  his 
patronage  of,  and  friendship  for  Edmund  Burke,  the 
famous  writer  and  politician. 

At  the  Sj)ring  Assizes  at  York  in  1770,  about  two 
dozen  of  the  Goiners  were  on  trial.  David  Hartley  and 
James  Oldfield  were  sentenced  to  death,  and  executed 
for  coining.  "  King  David  "  tried  to  save  his  life  by 
giving  evidence  against  his  friends,  and  he  stated  that 
Normanton  and  1'homas  were  the  murderers,  and  his 
brother  Isaac  would  confirm  him. 

The  trials  of  the  other  prisoners  were  postponed  to 
the  next  Assizes,  and  the  coiners  released  on  bail.  The 
prisons  of  England  were  so  crowded  at  this  time,  that 
there  was  not  room  to  keep  even  those  charged  with 
murder,  in  gaol.  The  murder  trial  was  taken  at  the 
August    Assizes,    when    James    Broadbent    gave   most 



minute  details  of  what  had  happened  on  the  night  of  the 
murder,  although  we  may  be  quite  sure  that  he  was 
nowhere  near  the  scene  on  that  night.  His  evidence 
was  so  untrustworthy  that  the  jury  acquitted  Norman- 
ton  and  Thomas. 


Fig.  76.— The  Inn  at  Mytholmroyd,  a  Resort  of  the  Coiners. 

Two  years  afterwards,  Thomas  Clayton  and  Thomas 
Spencer  gave  fresh  evidence  against  the  two  assassins. 
They  could  not  be  tried  for  murder  again,  but  they  were 
found  guilty  of  highway  robbery  because  they  had 
emptied  Mr.  Dighton's  pockets.  The  penalty  was  the 
same.  Thomas  and  Norman  ton  were  hanged  at  York, 
and  their  bodies  suspended  in  chains  on  the  top  of  our 
Beacon  Hill,  with  their  arms  pointing  to  the  scene  of 
the  murder.  Halifax  people  did  not  like  this,  because 
the  ugly  sight  was  always  before  them  for  a  long  time. 

Some  of  the  coiners  were  imprisoned,  others  trans- 
ported, and  a  few  hanged,  but  although  the  judges  were 


very  severe,  it  was  many  years  before  the  evil  practice 
was  stamped  out.  For  instance,  John  Cocki-oft  of  Sand 
Hall,  Highroad  Well,  was  wanted  in  1769  for  clipping 
guineas.  In  1778,  he  was  tried  at  Lancaster  for  making 
half -pennies,  but  he  got  off.  Finally  in  1782,  he  was 
transported  for  making  counterfeit  shillings. 

The  Cragg  Vale  Coiners,  besides  being  bad  and 
desperate  men,  were  mostly  cowards.  As  soon  as  they 
got  into  the  clutches  of  the  law,  they  incriminated  their 
neighbours,  friends,  and  even  relations.  Some  writers 
have  tried  to  throw  an  element  of  romance  around  the 
story,  but  it  was  really  a  most  miserable  business,  and  it 
is  a  relief  to  turn  from  the  coiners  to  the  study  of  men 
of  a  different  type. 

Near  the  bottom  of  Cragg  Vale,  there  stands  on  a 
little  knoll,  a  house  named  Hoo  Hole,  with  a  fine 
chestnut  tree  before  it.  From  the  front  windows  can 
be  seen  the  ridge  on  which  stand  Stannery  End  and 
other  coiners'  houses,  while  on  the  other  side  of  the 
valley,  behind  Hoo  Hole,  are  such  notorious  houses  as 
Bell  House,  Keelham,  and  Hill  Top.  Hoo  Hole  is  in  the 
very  centre  of  the  coiners'  country,  and  here  on  June 
28th,  1770,  his  sixty-seventh  birthday,  came  John 
Wesley,  "one  of  the  makers  of  modern  England,"  to 
preach.  Two  months  before — to  the  day — David 
Hartley  had  been  hanged,  and  many  of  the  men  of  this 
district  were  then  on  bail  to  appear  at  York  in  about 
another  month.  It  required  some  courage  to  preach  in 
such  a  place.  Wesley  wrote  of  his  visit  in  these  words: — 
"  It  was  a  lovely  valley  encompassed  by  high  mountains. 
I  stood  on  the  smooth  grass  before  the  house,  which 
stands  on  a  gently  rising  ground,  and  all  the  people 
on  the  slope  before  me.      It  was  a  glorious  opportunity." 

Wesley's  visits.  197 

On  one  of  his  early  journeys  into  our  district,  (May, 
1747)  Wesley  came  from  Lancashire  over  the  mountain 
road,  passing  Widdop,  to  Heptonstall.  At  Stoneshey 
Gate,  he  had  a  congregation  that  filled  both  the  yard 
and  the  road.  Many  were  seated  on  a  long,  dry  wall, 
and  in  the  middle  of  the  sermon  the  wall  fell  down  with 
the  persons  sitting  on  it.  ''Not  one  was  hurt  at  all," 
says  Mr.  Wesley,  "nor  was  there  any  interruption  of 
my  speaking,  or  of  the  attention  of  the  hearers."  During 
the  next  summer,  Wesley  visited  Halifax  and  attempted 
to  preach  at  the  Cross  in  the  middle  of  Old  Market, 
which  caused  a  great  commotion  in  the  town.  Mr. 
Wesley  said  "  There  was  an  immense  number  of  people 
roaring  like  the  waves  of  the  sea,  but  the  far  greater 
part  of  them  were  still,  and  as  soon  as  I  began  to  speak, 
they  seemed  more  and  more  attentive."  To  break  up 
the  meeting,  a  gentleman  "scutched"  half-pennies  among 
the  crowd ;  then  there  was  confusion,  in  which  stones 
and  mud  were  flung  at  the  preacher.  A  few  days  later 
Mr.  Wesley  was  mobbed  at  Colne,  and  he  retired  to 
Widdop,  from  which  safe  refuge  he  wrote  a  remonstrance 
to  the  church  minister  of  Colne,  who  had  encouraged 
the  rioters. 

Wesley  was  again  at  Widdop  in  1766,  and  the  rock 
from  which  he  preached  is  still  known  as  Wesley's 
Pulpit.  At  such  places  as  Widdop,  Heptonstall,  and 
Midgley,  the  people  became  eager  to  listen  to  his 
preaching,  and  Wesley  grew  fond  of  this  district.  In 
his  Journal,  he  says  that  nothing  since  the  Garden  of 
Eden  could  be  more  pleasant  than  Calder  Vale,  between 
Todmorden  and  Heptonstall.  He  could  not  conceive 
anything  more  delightful  than  the  steep  mountains, 
clothed  with  wood  to  the  top,  and  washed  at  the  bottom 


by  a  clear,  winding  stream.  This  is  indeed  high  praise, 
for  John  Wesley  had  seen  more  of  England  than  any 
other  man  of  his  time.  About  Hebden  Bridge  and 
Eastwood  the  scenery  is  still  beautiful,  though  the  main 
valley  has  been  .altered  much  in  one  hundred  and  fifty 
years;  however,  the  glens  of  the  Hebden  and  Crimsworth 
still  remain  unspoiled.  Ewood,  near  Mytholmroyd,  was 
a  favourite  house  of  the  great  preacher — "Ewood,  which 
I  still  love,  for  good  Mr.  Grimshaw's  sake."  Mr. 
Grimshaw,  rector  of  Haworth  and  Wesley's  right-hand 
man,  had  a  great  influence  on  the  people  about  Haworth, 
Halifax,  and  Todmorden.  Mrs.  Grimshaw's  home  had 
been  at  Ewood,  and  there  the  two  preachers  went  for 
rest  after  heavy  days  of  travelling  and  speaking. 

At  Lightclifie  lived  a  good  and  interesting  lady  in  a 
fine  old  home — Mrs.  Holmes  of  Smith  House — who  was 
one  of  the  first  to  welcome  John  Wesley  to  our  district. 
To  Smith  House  also  came  the  Moravians — missionaries 
from  Germany — and  they  established  a  settlement  in 
Lightclifie.  They  built  a  large,  square  house  (Lightclifie 
House)  near  to  Smith  House,  and  they  also  occupied  a 
house  in  Wakefield  Road,  called  German  House.  Later, 
they  made  their  headquarters  -at  Fulneck. 

This  great  Eevival  of  the  eighteenth  century  had  a 
wonderful  efiect  for  good  on  our  country,  and  our  own 
neighbourhood  received  its  full  share  of  the  benefit.  In 
the  streets  and  markets,  in  the  fields  and  country  places, 
preachers  worked  hard  to  make  better  men  and  women. 
Ordinary  farmers,  colliers,  and  cobblers,  took  to  preaching 
as  well  as  the  regular  ministers,  and  small  chapels — 
often  in  cottages- -were  started  in  each  hamlet.  Baptists 
and  Independents  as  well  as  Wesleyans  were  alive  to  the 
new  spirit.       Some  of   the   chapels  of  this   epoch,   like 


Wainsgate  near  Hebden  Bridge,  and  Mount  Zion  near 
Ogden,  appear  to  us  to  be  situated  in  out-of-the-way 
places,  and  it  has  been  suggested  that  their  sites  were 
chosen  for  their  first  members  to  be  secure  from 
persecution.  The  real  fact  is,  that  at  the  time  of 
their  establishment,  these  hilly  places  were  centres  of 

Titus  Knight,  a  collier  in  the  Shibden  Hall  mines, 
came  under  the  notice  of  Mr.  Wesley,  and  as  he  was  of 
a  studious  and  thoughtful  turn  of  mind,  the  collier  was 
asked  to  preach  and  to  become  a  schoolmaster.  Mr. 
Knight  developed  into  a  famous  preacher,  but  later  he 
left  the  Wesleyans,  and  Ultimately  the  large  brick 
Square  Chapel  was  built  for  him,  where  he  had  large 

"The  Yorkshire  Coiners,"  by  H.  Ling  Roth. 

"Cragg  Coiners,"  by  T.  W.  Hanson.  (Hx.  Antiquarian  Socy.  Trans.,  1909). 
"The  Journal  of  the  Rev.  John  Wesley." 

*' Methodist  Heroes  in  the  Great  Haworth  Round,  1734  to  1784." 
Compiled  by  J.  W.  Laycock. 




The  Piece  Hall  is  one  of  the  finest  historic  monuments 
of  our  town.  The  building  may  be  likened  to  a  gigantic 
square  amphitheatre,  and  each  side  of  the  square  is  a 
hundred  yards  long.  The  land,  ten  thousand  square 
yards,  was  given  by  John  Caygill,  a  wealthy  merchant 
who  lived  at  the  Shay,  who  also  made  a  donation  of 
eight  hundred  guineas  to  the  building  fund.  It  cost 
about  ten  thousand  pounds  to  build,  and  the  Piece  Hall 


is  considered  to  be  a  good  example  of  architecture, 
reflecting  credit  on  the  designer,  Thomas  Bradley,  a 
local  man.  The  top  storey  was  named  the  Colonnade ; 
the  lower  gallery,  the  Hustic,  and  the  bottom  storey 
along  the  east  side  was  the  Arcade.  The  Piece  Hall 
was  opened  on  January  1st,  1779,  with  a  great 
procession,  with  fireworks  in  the  evening,  and  much 
rejoicing.  It  was  a  manufacturers'  hall,  and  each 
manufacturer  who  subscribed  £28  4s.,  became  the  owner 
of  one  of  the  315  rooms.  These  figures  and  particulars 
are  not  as  impressive  as  an  actual  visit  to  the  Piece  Hall, 
and  the  circuit  of  one  of  the  galleries.  Imagine  each 
room  full  of  pieces,  and  a  manufacturer  in  each  doorway 
waiting  for  buyers  to  come  and  look  at  his  stock.  When 
the  market  opens,  the  galleries  are  busy  with  merchants 
walking  from  room  to  room,  and  looking  for  their 
particular  cloth.  Down  below,  in  the  '"area,"  are  the 
smaller  makers  who  have  carried  their  two  or  three 
pieces  to  Halifax  Market  for  sale.  Every  Saturday,  a 
large  amount  of  cloth  was  sold  here,  to  be  sent  to  Leeds, 
London,  and  other  parts  of  the  kingdom,  while  other 
buyers  were  acting  for  the  merchants  of  Holland  and 
the  Continent.  A  Directory  of  the  Manufacturers'  Hall 
published  in  1787,  informs  us  that  the  manufacturers 
who  had  rooms  came  from  Ovenden,  Sowerby,  Soyland, 
Warley,  Heptonstall,  Stansfield,  and  the  other  townships 
of  the  parish  ;  from  Burnley,  Colne,  Pendle,  Skipton, 
Kildwick,  Sutton-in-Craven,  Bradford,  Bingley, 
Keighley,    and     CuUingworth.  Eobert     Heaton,    of 

Ponden,  beyond  Stanbury,  had  Room  No.  120  in  the 

The    Piece    Hall    is  a  striking    tribute    to    the   pre- 
eminent place  that  Halifax  held  in  the  cloth  trade  at 

THE  PIECE  HaLL.  201 

the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century.  The  Cloth  Halls 
of  Leeds,  Huddersfield,  and  Bradford,  were  but  small  in 
comparison.  We  must  next  consider  how  the  Piece 
Hall  was  used  for  business.  On  Saturday  morning  at 
eight  o'clock  the  doors  were  opened,  and  from  that  time 
until  a  quarter  to  ten,  the  manufacturers  were  allowed 
to  take  in.  their  goods,  but  no  cart  was  admitted  that 
was  drawn  by  more  than  one  horse.  The  manufacturers 
opened  their  rooms,  and  arranged  their  stocks  for  the 
market.  The  small  makers,  who  had  no  rooms,  were 
charged  a  penny  for  each  piece  they  brought  into  the 
Hall.  At  ten  o'clock  the  Market  Bell  rang,  and  the 
sales  began.  If  a  merchant  or  buyer  was  found  in  the 
Hall  before  the  bell  rang,  he  was  fined,  so  that  every 
buyer  had  an  equal  chance.  At  twelve  o'clock  the  bell 
proclaimed  the  market  closed,  and  the  buyers  had  to 
leave  the  Piece  Hall.  From  half-past  twelve  until  four 
o'clock,  pack-horses  and  carts  were  admitted  again  to 
remove  the  cloth  that  had  been  sold.  There  was  also  a 
market  for  worsted  yarn  held  in  a  large  room  on  the 
south  side  of  the  Hall  from  1-30  to  2-30.  At  four 
o'clock  the  gates  were  closed  again,  and  the  Piece  Hall 
would  be  deserted  until  the  following  Saturday.  We 
may  get  a  glimpse  inside  one  of  the  rooms  with  the  aid 
of  an  old  account  book  belonging  to  James  Akroyd  of 
Brookhouse,  and  Jonathan  Akroyd  of  Lanehead,  near 
Ogden,  who  were  in  partnership  as  worsted  manu- 
facturers. At  first  they  rented  a  room  from  Mr. 
Pollard,  paying  two  pounds  a  year;  but  in  1785  they 
bought  by  auction  for  £30  2s.,  the  room  No.  80  Rustic. 
The  number  of  pieces  in  the  room  varied  from  50  to  330, 
and  at  the  end  of  1794  when  they  took  stock,  they  had 
269    pieces,    valued    at    £647    6s.        Jonathan    Akroyd, 





though  a  good  business  man,  was  a  poor  speller,  for  boys 
had  little  schooling  then.  He  wrote  "pees  Haull "  for 
Piece  Hall.  In  October,  1801,  there  is  this  puzzling 
entry — "a  Pease  sined  this  Day  by  Boney  Part."  It 
refers  to  the  preliminaries  of  peace  with  Napoleon,  that 
were  signed  on  October  1st,  1801.  The  prospect  of 
peace  made  trade  brisk,  and  223  pieces  were  reduced  to 
102  in  a  fortnight. 

The  manufacturers,  like  the  Akroyds,  who  sold  their 
cloth  in  the  Piece  Hall,  did  not  make  this  cloth  in  mills 
as  is  the  modern  method,  but  they  superintended  the 
various  processes,  though  the  work  itself — combing, 
spinning,  or  weaving — was  done  at  home.  After  the 
wool  had  been  sorted,  a  wool-comber  would  receive  a 
small  quantity  along  with  some  soft  soap  and  oil.  The 
wool  was  thoroughly  washed,  and  the  comber  took  it 
home.  At  home  he  had  a  small  drum-shaped  iron  stove 
(I6ins.  high  and  1 6ms.  diameter)  to  heat  his  combs. 
The  stove  was  called  a  "  Pot,"  and  often  four  men 
worked  with  one  stove,  and  they  called  it  "a  pot  o' 
four."  An  unsociable,  or  independent  man  was  nick- 
named "a  pot  o'  one."  One  comb  was  fixed  on  to  a  pad, 
which  in  turn  was  fixed  to  a  post  in  the  middle  of  the 
room.  The  wool  was  thrown  on  to  the  hot  comb,  and 
afterwards  drawn  off  with  the  second  hot  comb.  The 
wool  was  worked  again  on  to  the  fixed  comb,  and  drawn 
off  by  hand  into  long  slivers.  The  slivers  were  placed 
on  the  wool-comber's  form,  rolled  into  balls,  washed 
again,  and  wrung  through  rollers.  The  slivers  were 
brought  back  to  the  bench,  broken  into  small  pieces, 
sprinkled  with  oil,  and  re-combed.  After  the  second 
combing,  the  wool  was  drawn  through  a  hole  in  a  horn 
disc,  and  twisted  into  a  neat-looking  "top."     The  short 


wool  that  was  combed  out  was  called  "  noils,"  and  that 
was  used  for  the  coarser  woollen  cloths,  blankets,  etc. 
In  Bankfield  Museum  is  a  case  containing  the  utensils  of 
a  hand-comber,  and  an  illustrated  pamphlet  may  be 
obtained  giving  full  particulars  of  the  processes. 

Four  spinners  were  required  to  produce  sufficient 
yarn  to  keep  one  weaver  going ;  therefore  the  manu- 
facturer was  obliged  to  send  his  tops  far  afield  to  spin. 
From  the  Akroyd  account  books  we  discover  that  their 
wool  was  spun  at  Tossit  and  Wigglesworth,  near  Long 
Preston ;  at  Austwick  near  Clapham ;  and  a  large 
quantity  went  as  far  as  Dunsop  Bridge,  which  is  in 
the  Trough  of  Bowland,  a  pass  that  leads  to  Lancaster. 
The  wool  travelled  on  pack  horses,  and  the  carriers 
charged  half-a-crown  to  take  a  pack  of  wool  to  Dunsop 
Bridge.  The  spinners'  wages  were  sent  hidden  in  the 
wool-packs,  exactly  in  the  same  way  as  the  Egyptians 
hid  their  valuables  in  corn  sacks  in  Joseph's  time.  At 
each  place  mentioned,  Jonathan  Akroyd  had  a  small 
shop-keeper  or  agent,  who  was  paid  a  half-penny 
a    pound     for     putting    out      the     wool.  William 

Thomas  of  Dunsop  Bridge,  one  of  these  agents,  would 
distribute  the  wool  among  the  farmhouses  for  the  women 
to  spin,  and  afterwards  collect  the  yarn.  The  other 
Halifax  manufacturers  sent  their  wool  into  Craven  and 
North  Yorkshire  to  be  spun,  and  Halifax  was  such  an 
important  centre  that  the  old  milestones  beyond  Settle 
give  the  distance  from  Halifax. 

In  the  valley  above  Wheatley  is  Waltroyd,  a  white- 
washed farmhouse  sheltered  by  a  huge  chestnut  tree, 
which  in  summer  time  is  like  a  big  umbrella  over  the 
house.  Just  over  a  hundred  years  ago,  Waltroyd  was 
the  home  of  Cornelius  Ash  worth,  farmer  and  hand-loom 


weaver.  He  kept  a  diary,  and  from  his  entries  we  can 
see  exactly  how  a  weaver  worked.  On  October  14th, 
1782,  Cornelius  Ashworth  "carried  a  piece,"  which 
means  that  he  had  finished  weaving  a  piece,  and  had 
taken  it  to  some  manufacturer  like  Akroyd  of  Lanehead, 
though  he  never  states  where  he  delivered  his  work. 
The  same  day  he  wove  4 J  yds.,  and  the  next  day  9  yds. 
of  a  new  piece.  Then  for  a  week  the  loom  stood  idle,  for 
Ashworth  was  busy  with  his  harvest.  On  the  23rd,  he 
wove  two  yards  before  sunset,  and  "  clouted  my  coat  in 
the  evening,"  which  means  mended  or  patched  it.  The 
next  day,  he  churned  until  10  o'clock,  and  Wove  6 J  yds. 
during  the  rest  of  the  day.  The  25th  turned  out  to  be 
a  very  wet  day,  and  as  no  outside  work  could  be  done, 
Ashworth  spent  the  day  at  his  loom,  and  wove  8|-  yards. 
The  day  following  was  Saturday,  when  he  took  his  corn 
to  the  miller,  and  in  the  afternoon  helped  in  a  neigh- 
bour's harvest  field.  On  October  29th,  Cornelius 
Ashworth  wove  2 J  yards  ;  on  the  following  day  4  yards, 
which  finished  the  piece,  and  he  carried  it  to  the 

This  piece  was  38  yards  long  ;  he  had  taken  sixteen 
days  to  weave  it ;  and  he  would  probably  be  paid  five 
or  six  shillings  for  his  work.  But  of  course  he  had  been 
harvesting  and  farming,  and  he  was  at  liberty  to  change 
from  one  work  to  the  other  as  he  liked.  This  is  one 
great  difference  between  the  old  days  when  a  man 
worked  at  home,  and  the  present  time  when  a  weaver 
has  to  stay  in  the  mill  from  six  in  the  morning  until  six 
at  night.  The  older  life  was  not  so  monotonous.  Here 
is  the  record  of  one  day: — "Saturday,  August  16th, 
1 783 — A  fine,  warm,  droughty  day.  I  churned  and 
sized  a  warp  in  the  morning.     Went  to  Halifax  and  saw^ 



two  men  hanged  on  Beacon  Hill,  their  names  Thomas 
Spencer  and  Mark  Saltonstall,  having  been  tried  at 
York  Assizes  and  found  guilty  of  being  active  in  a  riot 
in  and  about  Halifax  in  June  last.  They  were  sentenced 
to  be  executed  on  the  above  hill.    We  housed  38  hattocks 

Fig.  78.— Wai.troyd, 

Photo.  H.  P.  Kendall. 

in  the  afternoon."  The  droughty  weather  helped  the 
warp  to  dry  after  the  sizing.  Thomas  Spencer  was  the 
man  who  arranged  the  murder  of  Mr.  Dighton,  and  he 
came  to  his  end  for  leading  a  mob  to  break  into  the 
warehouses  on  Corn  Market,  when  bread  was  very  dear. 

In  order  to  complete  the  portrait  of  Mr.  Ashworth^ 
we  must  note  that  he  went  most  regularly  every  Sunday 

LIME.  207 

to  Square  Chapel,  and  later  to  Pellon  Lane  Chapel.  If 
he  did  not  attend  service  he  wrote  an  apology  in  his 
diary,  after  this  style: — "Sunday,  August  7th,  1785 — 
I  stayed  at  home  till  noon  as  I  discovered  a  wound  in  a 
young  heifer.  I  thought  it  a  work  of  necessity  to  get  it 
dressed  immediately."  Between  the  morning  and  after- 
noon services,  he  would  go  to  an  inn  for  dinner  and  hear 
all  the  local  news  of  the  week.  Cornelius  Ashworth 
comments  several  times  on  the  number  of  open  graves,  he 
saw  in  the  Parish  Churchyard,  for  children  during  severe 
epidemics.  The  ministers  of  Square  and  Pellon  Lane 
Chapels  came  once  a  month  to  Waltroyd  to  hold 
services  in  the  large  house,  and  the  people  about  came  to 
hear  them  preach. 

The  highlands  of  our  parish  have  never  been  favour- 
able to  agriculture,  but  in  the  eighteenth  century,  there 
was  more  farming  than  is  carried  on  nowadays.  There 
were  no  large  farms,  but  most  of  the  clothiers,  like 
Cornelius  Ashworth,  grew  their  own  corn  and  kept  a  few 
cows.  Corn  was  high  in  price,  and  if  it  had  to  be 
imported  from  a  distance  by  pack-horses  it  was  very 
dear.  Some  of  the  higher  farms  like  Stannery  End  near 
Mytholmroyd,  harvested  crops  from  land  where  to-day 
it  would  be  thought  impossible  to  make  such  farming 
pay.  The  farmers  had  a  few  interesting  methods  of 
improving  the  soil  that  are  now  practically  obsolete. 
Lime  was  an  excellent  dressing  for  the  land,  but  Halifax 
is  a  long  way  from  the  limestone  area.  On  the  other 
side  of  Boulsworth  Hill,  about  Thursden  and  Wycollar, 
is  a  glacial  drift  where,  in  remote  ages,  a  glacier  left 
boulders  of  various  rocks.  The  limestone  boulders  were 
picked  out  of  the  drift,  and  burnt  in  lime-kilns.  The 
other  useless  boulders  were  heaped  into  huge  mounds. 


These  hillocks  are  now  grass-grown,  covered  with  small 
trees,  and  form  a  picturesque  and  puzzling  feature  of  the 
landscape.  The  lime  was  carried  on  pack-horses  to  the 
farms  about  Halifax,  and  some  of  the  old  pack-horse 
tracks  beyond  Wadsworth  are  called  Limers'  Gates.  In 
a  Shibdon  Hall  account  book  is  this  entry :—"  1721,  5 
loads  Lancashire  lime  6s.  8d."  A  load  was  two  panniers 
of  1  cwt.  each.  Emily  Bronte  tells  of  Joseph  leading 
lime  from  Wycollar  district  to  Wuthering  Heights. 
P.  G.  Hamerton  saw  the  pack-horses  carrying  lime  about 
Widdop  as  late  as  1856. 

Cornelius  Ash  worth  records  that  at  Waltroyd  the 
land  was  irrigated  by  water-furrowing.  In  the  fields  by 
the  stream  side,  long  ditches  were  dug  from  which 
channels  and  drains  carried  the  water  over  the  field. 
In  the  spring-time  the  beck  was  dammed,  and  the  water 
turned  into  the  ditches  to  overflow  the  land.  In  the 
higher  fields,  ditches  were  made,  and  water  turned  on  to 
the  land  from  the  springs.  In  the  fields  at  Waltroyd 
and  elsewhere,  traces  of  the  ditches  and  gutters  can  still 
be  seen.  These  stream -side  fields  were  named  "  holmes." 
The  original  Scandinavian  word  meant  "island,"  (for 
example,  Stockholm).  Then  it  was  used  for  land  in  the 
bend  of  a  river  that  was  liable  to  be  flooded.  Locally  we 
have  old  place-names,  such  as  Tilley -holme,  Mytholm, 
Bird-holme,  and  Dodge-holme.  Lastly,  a  "  holme  "  was 
a  field  that  might  be  irrigated  by  a  stream. 

When  considering  the  seventeenth  century  houses, 
we  decided  that  the  windows  afforded  the  surest  guide 
for  the  date  of  the  houses.  In  the  eighteenth  century 
houses,  the  window  jambs  and  mullions  are  flush  with 
the  wall,  because  the  walls  were  not  built  so  thick.  For 
the   same    reason    the   mullions  are    square    in   section. 

18th  century  houses.  209 

because  there  was  not  the  need  to  bevel  them.  The 
number  of  Hghts  was  also  gradually  reduced.  For  such 
windows  see  the  north  side  of  Hop  wood  Hall ;  Oaksroyd 
near  Copley  Station ;  Knowl  Top,  Lightclifie  ;  or  Hazle- 
hurst  in  Upper  Shibden  (1724).  Another  very  common 
form  of  window  is  to  be  seen  at  the  Pineapple  Hotel, 
North  Bridge ;  the  confectioner's  shop  in  Gibbet  Street, 
below  Hoy  land's  Passage ;  houses  ofl"  South  Parade  and 
at  Wards  End  ;  and  the  Malt  Shovel  Inn,  Mytholmroyd 
(a  haunt  of  the  Cragg  Coiners).  It  is  a  three-light 
window ;  the  centre  light  is  higher  than  the  sides,  and 
has  a  semi-circular  top  with  a  keystone.  It  was  called  a 
Venetian  window.  Between  King  Cross  Lane  and  Spice 
Cake  Lane,  are  Middle  Street  and  South  Street.  There 
you  will  find  about  a  dozen  houses  with  these  windows. 
It  is  a  most  interesting  block  of  houses,  for  it  is  the  first 
row  that  was  built  in  Halifax.  Nowadays  the  vast 
majority  of  people  live  in  rows  of  houses,  but  once  upon 
a  time  the  people  lived  in  separate  and  detached  houses. 

In  the  eighteenth  century,  brick  came  into  fashion 
for  Halifax  houses,  but  it  did  not  spread  to  the  outlying 
townships.  For  examples,  we  have  Square  Chapel 
(1772);  Stoney  Royd  (1764);  the  houses  in  the  Square 
and  at  Wards  End ;  the  first  Halifax  Baths  at  Lilly 
Bridge  ;  Waterside  ;  and  an  old  brick  warehouse 
between  Union  Street  and  Thomas  Street.  The  new 
brick  must  have  looked  like  sealing-wax,  which  was 
used  on  all  letters  in  those  days,  for  Halifax  boys  and 
girls  used  to  sing: — 

*'  Halifax  is  made  of  wax, 
Heptonstall  of  stone ; 
There's  pretty  girls  in  Halifax, 
In  Heptonstall  there's  none." 

Watson,  writing  in  1775,  thought  that  the  cheaper 



brick   would   supplant   the   native  stone,   and   that    the 
future  Halifax  would  be  a  brick-built  town. 

Fig.  79.— South  Street,  King  Ckoss  Lane, 
The  first  row  of  houses  erected  in  the  town. 

The  wealthy  gentlemen  of  our  neighbourhood  built 
many  fine  houses  during  the  eighteenth  century.  In 
fact,  all  over  England,  great  mansions  like  Wentworth 
House  and  Chatsworth  were  being  erected.  One  of  the 
most  famous  of  provincial  architects  was  Carr  of  Yoik, 
who  designed  Farnley  Hall,  Denton  Hall,  and  Harewood 
House.  In  our  district  he  erected  Pye  Nest,  White 
Windows  (1768),  and  Mr.  Royd's  house  in  George 
Street.  John  Carr  was  the  son  of  a  Horbury  mason. 
One  story  of  his  early  days  tells  that  his  mother  made 

18th  century  mansions.  211 

him  a  large,  circular  meat-pie  every  week.  Each 
Monday  morning,  John  divided  his  pie  with  his 
mason's  compasses  into  six  equal  parts.  The  mansions 
of  this  period  were  large,  square  buildings,  and  the 
decorations  and  ornaments  were  copied  from  ancient 
Roman  architecture.  The  style  is  known  as  "Classical." 
Besides  the  houses  already  named,  there  are  Clare  Hall ; 
Hope  Hall ;  Hopwood  Hall ;  Field  House,  Sowerby 
(1749);  and  Making  Place,  Soyland.  John  Horner's 
sketches  (to  be  seen  at  Bankfield)  give  us  an  idea  of  the 
beautiful  and  extensive  grounds  that  surrounded  these 
houses.  Comparing  these  classical  houses  with  the 
seventeenth  century  halls,  they  are  much  larger  and 
more  imposing  than  the  comfortable  farm-houses  of  the 
previous  century.  The  merchants  for  whom  they  were 
usually  built,  were  richer  and  fewer  than  the  small 
manufacturers  of  the  previous  century.  The  offices  and 
warehouses  of  the  merchant  were  often  at  the  back  of 
his  house.  At  Hope  Hall,  tw^o  wings  jut  out  from  the 
house,  one  of  which  was  the  stables,  and  the  other  served 
as  the  merchant's  warehouse. 

The  large  houses,  that  were  erected  all  over  England 
in  the  eighteenth  century,  usually  had  fine  libraries. 
One  of  the  most  famous  bookshops  in  the  kingdom  was 
that  of  "Edwards  of  HaUfax."  William  Edwards,  the 
father,  "was  for  many  years  very  eminent  in  his 
profession,  and  of  no  common  estimation  for  the  energies 
of  his  mind  ;  and  his  skill  in  collecting  rare  books,  not 
less  than  his  exquisite  taste  in  rich  and  expensive 
bindings,  will  long  be  lecollected. "  He  died  in  1808. 
James  Edwards,  his  most  famous  son,  who  opened  a 
London  book  shop  in  1 784,  was  the  first  London  book- 
seller to  display  valuable  books  in  splendid  bindings. 





^   -^SS-^JS^S 






4'  'ii|y[K'  €         I^HPl 

^■SBk  ^B^^^h 

'0m.mffm      H^ 

HP^^K  l^E  l^B 






^^^M^^^i,  ij|fc? ' 

JHH^^!^  V 


HB^^^^^Bl     i;'J 



hbh^^^h^h   ^^HJIH 





He  speedily  made  a  name  as  a  great  book  collector, 
by  out-bidding  the  king  for  an  illuminated  manuscript 
known  as  the  Bedford  Missal.  James  followed  Napoleon's 
army  into  Italy,  buying  rare  books  and  manuscripts 
from  the  soldiers  after  they  had  looted  palaces  and 
monasteries.  James  Edwards  also  purchased  several 
notable  Italian  and  French  libraries,  and  was  the  means 
by  which  the  great  collections  of  England  were  enriched 
with  the  treasures  of  the  Continent.  His  brother  and 
partner,  John,  went  to  France  during  the  Kevolution, 
hoping  to  secure  more  rare  books,  but  he  was  guillotined 
while  on  this  quest.  James  Edwards  had  such  a  passion 
for  books,  that  he  left  instructions  in  his  will  that  his 
coffin  was  to  be  made  from  his  librar}^  shelves.  The 
youngest  brother,  Bichard,  also  went  to  London,  and  is 
best  remembered  because  he  commissioned  the  great 
artist,  William  Blake,  to  draw  over  five  hundred 
illustrations  for  an  expensive  edition  of  Young's  "  Night 
Thoughts,"  at  a  time  when  Blake  was  little  understood 
or  appreciated.  Thomas  Edwards,  who  stayed  at  home 
to  keep  the  book  shop  in  Old  Market,  sent  out  a 
catalogue  in  1816,  which  mentions  over  11,000  books. 
Halifax  certainly  had  a  wonderful  book  shop  a  century 
ago.  Thomas  was  also  a  good  art  critic,  for  he  encouraged 
J.  M.  W.  Turner,  long  before  he  achieved  fame. 

This  gifted  family  is  remembered,  most  of  all  b}^ 
book  lovers,  as  famous  book-binders.  WilUam  and  his 
sons,  James  and  Thomas,  introduced  new  fashions  in  the 
art.  As  they  are  always  referred  to  as  "  Edwards  of 
Halifax,"  they  have  made  our  town  known  to  collectors. 
One  of  their  styles  was  to  decorate  books  with  classic 
designs  that  appealed  strongly  to  their  age,  the  calf  skin 
being  stained    to   the  shades  of   terra  cotta  of  ancient 

Fig.  81.— Binding  in  Transparent  VelluivI  by  Edwards  of  Halifax. 

(From  the  Library  of  E.  Marchetti,  Esq.)  Photo.  O,  E.  Gledhill 


Grecian  vases.  Other  books  were  covered  with  trans- 
parent vellum,  and  the  underside  of  the  vellum  was 
decorated  with  appropriate  paintings  or  drawings. 
Edwards  also  painted  landscapes  on  the  fore-edges  of 
books.  These  beautiful  paintings  are  hidden  by  the 
gold  when  the  book  is  closed,  but  when  the  volume  is 
opened  and  the  leaves  fanned  out,  the  beautiful  painting 
is  discovered.  A  prayer  book  bound  for  Queen  Charlotte 
is  always  on  view  in  the  show-cases  of  the  British 
Museum.  Bindings  by  Edwards  of  Halifax  are  highly 
prized  by  book  collectors.  There  are  a  few  fine  specimens 
of  their  work  in  Halifax  Public  Library. 

"Hand  Wool-combing,"  by  H.  L.  Roth. 

(Bankfield  Museum  Notes  No.  6,  1909). 
"The  Diary  of  a  Grandfather,"  by  T.  W.  Hanson. 

(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  1916). 
"Edwards  of  Halifax,"  by  T.  W.  HANSON. 

(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society  Transactions,  1912). 









During  the  latter  half  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
and  in  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century,  Halifax 
passed  through  the  greatest  changes  in  its  history. 
First  of  all,  new  methods  of  transit  for  merchandise,  and 
new  modes  of  travelling  were  introduced — canals  and 
good  roads  being  made  in  place  of  the  old  pack-horse 
causeways.     Secondly,  it  was  an  age  of  great  inventions 




in  the  textile  trades — machines  were  invented  to  take 
the  place  of  the  spinning  wheels,  hand  combs,  shearing 
boards,  and  hand  looms.  The  new  machinery  produced 
much  more  yarn  and  cloth  than  the  old  way  of  hand- 
labour.  Lastly,  steam-power  completed  the  great 
change.  Large  mills  driven  by  steam  engines,  put  out 
of  action  the  early  mills  that  had  depended  upon  water- 
wheels  for  their  power,  and  railways  took  the  bulk  of 
the  traffic  from  the  canals  and  roads.  The  hundred 
years  from  1750  to  1850  has  been  named  the  age  of  the 
Industrial  Revolution.  These  two  long  words  are  used 
by  historians  to  denote  the  great  change  and  upheaval 
caused  by  the  vast  increase  of  industry  and  trade.  At 
the  beginning  of  that  time  England  was  principally  a 
farming  country.  By  the  end  of  this  time,  it  had 
become  the  workshop  of  the  world. 

Before  we  trace  in  detail  the  local  history  of  the 
Industrial  Revolution,  it  is  worth  while  making  another 
survey  of  the  country-side,  comparing  our  observations 
with  those  recorded  in  our  first  chapter  on  the  geography 
of  Halifax  Parish  in  olden  times.  Suppose  we  take 
Norland  as  our  starting  point  for  a  ramble.  Norland's 
hill-side  is  dotted  over  with  good  seventeenth  century 
houses,  but  very  few  modern  ones.  Descending  into 
Sowerby  Bridge,  we  find  a  modern  town  of  mills,  and 
rows  of  nineteenth  century  houses.  Climbing  up  the 
opposite  hill,  we  reach  Sowerby,  another  old-world  place. 
At  the  western  boundary  of  Sowerby  Township,  we 
descend  to  Mytholmroyd — a  modern  manufacturing 
village.  A  little  further  west  is  Hebden  Bridge,  a  valley 
town  of  no  great  agje,  and  ascending  yet  another  steep 
hill  we  arrive  at  Heptonstall — an  ancient  town.  We 
can  read  the  story  of  the  shifting  of  the  population  in 



the  place-names  of  the  Calder  Valley.  The  prmcipal 
town  at  the  western  end  of  the  parish  was  Heptonstall, 
but  Hepton  (Hebden)  Bridge  took  its  place  when 
trade  descended  from  the  hills  to  the  valley.  Ancient 
Luddenden  was  outstripped  by  Luddenden  Foot. 
Sowerby,  once  the  richest  township  in  the  parish,  saw 
its  trade  and  people  descend  to  Sowerby  Bridge. 
Raetrick,  set  on  a  hill  at  the  eastern  end  of  the  parish, 
had  looked  down  on  the  insignificant  house  by  the 
bridge  over  the  Calder,  which  afterwards  gave  its  name 
to  the  busy  new  town  of  Brighouse.  As  we  have  seen, 
many  of"  the  industrial  centres  of  Calder  Yale  bear 
names  that  show  that  they  stand  at  a  lower  altitude 
than  the  older  towns. 

One  of  the  prophets,  in  looking  forward  to  a  great 
change  in  Hebrew  times,  said  that  "Every  valley  would 
be  exalted,  and  each  mountain  and  hill  brought  low." 
This  poetic  phrase  would  almost  literally  apply  to  this 
period  of  our  local  history.  Or  there  is  much  truth  in 
the  striking  statement  that  "the  world  was  turned 
upside  down"  in  this  district.  Sowerby  Township  was 
dome-shaped  and  bounded  by  Cragg  Brook,  Calder, 
By  burn,  and  Lumb  Beck,  with  Crow  Hill  as  its  apex. 
The  new  urban  district  of  Sowerby  Bridge  is  bowl- 
shaped,  with  the  houses  crowded  in  the  bottom  along 
the  river-side,  and  the  rim  of  the  bowl  formed  by  the 
heights  of  Norland,  Sowerby,  Warley,  and  Skircoat. 
The  low-lying  lands  that  had  been  considered  useless 
in  the  middle  ages,  provided  the  best  sites  for  mills 
and  works. 

The  Parish  of  Halifax  is  one  of  the  most  interesting 
places  in  which  to  study  the  effect  of  the  Industrial 
Bevolution.       In  other  parts  of  industrial  England,  all 



relics  of  an  earlier  period  have  disappeared  as  completely 
as  if  an  ocean  had  rolled  over  the  land,  but  about 
Halifax  the  tide  of  industrialism  never  rose  high  enough 
to  submerge  the  old  landmarks.  It  is  easy  to  follow  the 
course  of  the  great  changes.  A  Heptonstall  clothier 
could  not  erect  a  spinning  mill  on  the  hill-top,  because 

Fig.  83.— Olo  Mill  in  a  Clough  near  Blackshavv  Head. 

there  was  no  stream  there  to  turn  a  water-wheel. 
Therefore  the  earliest  mills  were  built  in  the  doughs, 
such  as  the  mill  at  New  Bridge,  near  the  lodge  to 
Hardcastle  Crags.  The  water-wheel  has  been  removed, 
but  the  goit  remains.  A  cluster  of  houses  was  built 
about  the  mill  for  some  of  the  workers.  On  the  banks 
of  the  Hebden  stream,  from  Gibson  Mill  (close  to  Hard- 


castle  Crag)  down  to  Hebden  Bridge,  several  mills  and 
groups  of  houses  were  built.  From  this  time  the  ancient 
town  of  Heptonstall  ceased  to  grow,  while  below  it,  the 
valleys  were  becoming  more  populated.  After  a  time 
the  mills  in  the  Hebden  valley  installed  steam  engines, 
and  the  higher  mills  were  handicapped,  because  it  was 
so  costly  to  cart  coals  to  them.  The  two  mills  at 
Hardcastle  Crags  have  stopped  running,  and  in  Jumble 
Hole  Clough,  near  Eastwood  Station,  are  ruined  mills 
(and  cottages)  that  make  us  wonder  why  they  were 
ever  built  in  such  positions.  Dr.  Whittaker,  who 
published  a  history  of  this  district  at  the  beginning  of 
the  nineteenth  century,  said  that  a  mountainous-  country 
was  the  best  for  manufacturing.  He  was  thinking  of 
water-power  when  the  early  mills  were  driven  by 
moorland  streams.  The  canals  and  new  high-roads 
were  made  along  the  valleys,  and  the  mills  that  were 
able  to  use  the  new  methods  of  transport  had  a  great 
advantage.  The  age  of  steam  and  railways  made  the 
lower  levels  still  more  valuable,  and  doomed  the  ancient 
hill  towns  to  stagnation. 

We  noticed  that  in  the  old  townships,  a  group  of 
houses  was  called  a  "  town,"  and  we  had  Sowerby  Town 
and  Warley  Town.  This  word  was  also  given  to  the 
clusters  of  new  houses  that  were  erected.  There  is  a 
Charlestown  near  Hebden  Bridge,  and  a  Charlestown 
near  North  Bridge,  Halifax.  A  row  or  two  of  houses, 
midway  between  Haley  Hill  and  Boothtown,  was  called 
Newtown  ;  the  houses  around  Pellon  Lane  Chapel 
became  Chapeltown ;  and  the  district  now  called 
Claremount  was  formerly  Beaumont  Town.  Our  fore- 
fathers, with  a  touch  of  humour,  dubbed  the  more 
extensive  building  scheme  —  Orange  Street  and  in 
Wheatley— "  The  City." 

THE    CANAL.  221 

The  manufacturers  and  merchants,  of  Hahfax  in  the 
eighteenth  century  (such  as  Sam  Hill  of  Making  Place) 
did  a  large  export  trade,  and  one  of  their  difficulties  was 
to  transport  their  cloth  to  the  ports.  Leeds  was  better 
served  than  Halifax,  for  the  River  Aire  had  been  made 
navigable,  and  boats  for  Hull  could  be  loaded  at  Leeds 
docks.  Halifax  cloth  was  conveyed  by  waggons  and 
pack-horses  over  Swales  Moor,  and  through  Bradford  to 
the  wharves  at  Leeds.  To  save  the  heavy  cost  of 
transport  over  this  hilly  route,  it  was  determined  to 
make  a  canal  from  Halifax  to  Wakefield,  where  a 
junction  could  be  made  with  the  Aire  and  Calder 
Navigation  to  Hull.  In  1756,  a  committee  was  formed 
to  make  the  preliminary  arrangements,  and  as  there 
were  few  canals  at  that  date,  it  was  deemed  advisable 
to  engage  a  good  engineer.  Smeaton,  who  was  then 
building  the  Eddystone  Lighthouse,  was  selected  for  the 
work.  In  the  summer  of  1757,  many  letters  on  the 
subject  were  written  to  Smeaton,  for  he  could  not  leave 
Plymouth  as  it  was  essential  to  have  the  foundations  of 
the  lighthouse  finished  before  the  wintry  gales  com- 
menced. Smeaton  was  a  busy  man ;  we  can  imagine 
him  studying  the  Halifax  letters  and  plans  as  he  sailed 
to  and  from  the  Eddystone  Rock.  He  would  see  the 
full-rigged  wooden  men-of-war,  and  possibly  the  flag- 
ships of  Admiral  Hawke  or  Rodney,  sailing  down  the 
Channel  to  meet  the  French  fleet.  Sailors  were  very 
much  interested  in  the  new  lighthouse,  and  Smeaton 
would  enjoy  many  a  chat  with  the  sea-captains. 

On  Friday,  October  21st,  1757,  the  great  engineer 
arrived  at  Halifax,  and  met  the  Committee  at  the 
Talbot  Inn.  On  the  Monday  following  he  commenced 
his  survey,  and  was  taken  down   the  river   in   a  small 


boat  in  order  that  he  might  take  measurements  and 
particulars  of  the  route.  At  that  time  the  Calder  was 
as  clear  and  beautiful  a  river  as  the  Wharfe  is  to-day. 
To  cut  a  long  story  short,  plans  were  drawn  and 
permission  obtained  from  Parliament  to  make  the 
Calder  navigable.  Some  of  the  landowners  and  mill- 
owners,  whose  property  adjoined  the  river,  opposed  the 
scheme,  and  a  large  amount  of  money  had  to  be  spent  in 
law-suits  and  for  compensation.  Serious  floods  occurred 
while  the  canal  was  being  made,  and  some  of  the  work 
had  to  be  done  two  or  three  times.  However,  the 
promoters  persevered,  but  the  work  cost  much  more 
money  than  had  been  estimated.  The  canal  ended  at 
Salterhebble,  for  at  that  time  it  was  not  considered 
practicable  to  continue  it  up  the  narrow,  steep  valley  to 
Halifax.  The  old  Salterhebble  Docks,  south  of  the 
bridge,  became  a  very  important  and  busy  place,  where 
Halifax  cloth  was  shipped  to  Hull  and  the  Continent. 

The  Lancashire  manufacturers  were  planning  a  canal 
from  the  Irish  Sea  to  Rochdale,  and  onward  into  York- 
shire. They  forced  the  Calder  and  Hebble  Navigation 
promoters  to  make  a  branch  canal  from  Salterhebble  to 
Sowerby  Bridge,  aud  this  link  made  a  through  canal 
from  the  North  Sea  to  the  Irish  Sea.  The  Hochdale 
Canal  was  not  completed  until  1802.  The  principal 
street  in  Sowerby  Bridge  was  named  Wharf  Street, 
because  it  was  the  road  to  the  canal  wharves.  The 
extension  of  the  canal  to  Halifax  was  opened  in  1828. 
Those  who  live  near  the  canal,  and  who  use  the  old  word 
"  cut "  for  it,  may  be  interested  to  know  that  the  Act  of 
Parliament  (1825)  says  "  a  navigable  cut  or  canal  from 
Salterhebble  Bridge  to  Bailey  Hall."  It  is  difficult  for 
us   to  understand   why  there  was  so  much  enthusiasm 

THE  CANAL.  223 

about  the  canal.  Contemporary  engravings  depict  a 
large  stretch  of  water  bearing  a  full-rigged  ship,  with 
our  hills  in  the  background.  An  allegorical  figure 
bringing  the  horn  of  plenty,  descends  from  the  skies, 
and  on  the  laden  wharf  in  the  foreground,  gentlemen  in 
quaint  Georgian  costume  wave  their  three-cornered  hats 
with  joy.  "An  Essay  on  Halifax,"  published  in  1761, 
broke  into  poetry,  with: — 

"  Methinks  I  see  upon  the  beauteous  vale, 
Upon  the  glossy  surface  of  the  stream, 
The  teeming  vessel  gliding  smoothly  on  ; 
Its  swelling  canvas  holds  the  gentle  gale, 
While  on  the  deck  the  hardy^ sea-boy  plays, 
Fearless  of  storms." 

'^"' "-^c,^,. 


Fig.  84.— Boat-Horse  versus  Pack-Horses/ 

Halifax  men  felt  that  they  had  a  visible  connection 
with  the  ocean  and  more  interest  in  the  Navy,  whose 
great  victories  were  making  overseas  commerce  more 
secure.  Foreign  trade  depended  to  a  large  extent  on 
Britain's  mastery  of  the  sea.  The  great  benefit  to  local 
trade  wrought  by  the  canals,  can  be  expressed  in  a 
simple  sum.  One  horse  will  pull  as  much  weight  on  the 
Calder  and  Hebble  Canal  as  a  string  of  six  hundred 
pack-horses  can  carry.  By  means  of  the  canal,  the  corn 
grown    on    the    rich    York    Plain    became    available    for 


Halifax,  and  Wakefield  became  a  great  corn  mart  for 
this  district.  By  1834,  Halifax  was  receiving  corn  from 
Ireland.  In  1775,  William  Walker  wanted  a  large 
amount  of  timber  for  the  rebuilding  of  Crow  Nest,  Clifie 
Hill,  and  Lightcliflfe  Church.  He  chartered  a  vessel  in 
Hull,  went  to  the  Baltic  shore  of  Bussia,  brought  the 
timber  back  to  Hull,  and  then  conveyed  it  by  canal  to 
Brighouse.  Soon  after  the  canal  was  finished,  a  large 
printing  press  was  brought  to  Halifax.  It  was  impossible 
to  carry  such  heavy  goods  over  the  old,  steep  roads. 
Perhaps  the  greatest  boon  brought  by  the  canal  was 
coal.  Miss  Listers  Diary  states  that  in  1828,  the  local 
coal  was  selling  at  7s.,  and  it  cost  another  7s.  for  leading 
from  Swales  Moor  into  Halifax.  The  coal  from  Kirklees 
could  be  delivered  to  Bailey  Hall  wharf  for  9s.,  and  the 
leading  into  the  town  was  only  2s.  The  local  coal  was 
getting  worked  out,  and  Dr.  Whittaker  made  a  woeful 
prophecy.  He  foresaw  that  when  the  coal  was  exhausted, 
the  fences  and  houses,  and  even  the  Parish  Church, 
would  fall  into  ruins,  the  land  would  go  out  of  cultiva- 
tion, and  our  hills  and  vales  become  a  sheep-run.  He 
was  sure  that  within  a  measurable  time,  the  extent  of 
the  ancient  parish  would  support  but  a  few  shepherds, 
and  the  population  decline  until  it  became  less  than 
before  the  Norman  Conquest.  If  it  had  not  been  for 
the  canal,  Halifax  would  have  been  in  a  desperate 
plight  indeed,  when  coal  for  steam-power  became  a 
prime  necessity  for  manufacturing. 

The  canal  gave  the  present  name  of  Hebble  to  our 
stream.  When  the  valley  bottoms  were  neglected  and 
of  no  account,  the  brook  had  no  single  name  of  its  own. 
Each  section  had  a  separate  title,  such  as  Ogden  Brook, 
Mixenden  Beck,   The  Dodge,   Jumples   Beck,   Ovenden 

THE  HEBBLE.  225 

Wood  Brook,  Halifax  Brook,  and  Salterhebble  Brook. 
In  the  same  way,  one  of  our  streets  is  called  Princess 
Street,  Corn  Market,  Southgate,  and  Wards  End, 
though  these  are  but  lengths  of  the  same  street.  The 
end  of  the  first  canal  was  alongside  the  Salterhebble 
Brook,  and  this  name  became  shortened  to  Hebble 
Brook.  From  a  commercial  standpoint  it  was  the  most 
important  section  of  the  stream.  And  so  it  came  to  pass 
that  this  name  Hebble  was  bestowed  on  the  whole 
length  of  the  rivulet  from  Ogden  to  the  Calder.  A 
"  hebble "  originally  meant  a  plank  bridge,  and  Salter 
Hebble  was  at  first  a  wooden. bridge  built  by  a  man  who 
dealt  in  salts  and  dye-wares. 

At  Stump  Cross,  at  Ambler  Thorn,  near  Greetland 
Station,  and  at  other  places  on  our  main  roads  are  Toll- 
bar  houses.  They  are  one-storeyed  roadside  houses, 
usually  having  a  bay-window  jutting  out,  from  which 
the  turn -pike  man  could  observe  all  travellers.  Fixed 
to  the  house-front  was  a  large  board  on  which  the  scale 
of  tolls  was  painted.  From  the  bar-house,  a  gate 
stretched  across  the  road,  and  every  driver  passing 
along  the  highway  had  to  pay  a  toll  to  have  the  gate 
opened.  The  tolls  for  the  road  from  Halifax  to  Bradford 
were  sixpence  for  every  waggon  or  carriage  drawn  by 
four  houses,  fourpence  for  two  or  three  horses,  three- 
pence for  each  one-horsed  vehicle,  sixpence  a  score  for 
cattle,  twopence  halfpenny  for  each  score  of  pigs  or 
sheep,  and  a  halfpenny  for  every  horse  or  ass.  It 
appears  very  strange  to  us  that  people  had  to  pay  to  go 
along  the  roads,  but  the  tolls  paid  for  the  making  and 
repairing  of  these  new  roads. 

The  large  increase  of  trade  made  more  traffic  between 
the  various  parts  of  the  kingdom,  and  the  canals  only 


touched  a  few.  places.  Roads  were  needed  on  which 
waggons  and  carts  could  travel  easily,  for  in  our  part  of 
the  country  the  steep  pack-horse  causeways  were 
impossible  for  wheeled  traffic.  There  were  very  few 
bridges,  and  most  of  those  were  like  the  narrow  arch 
that  spans  Lumb  Falls.      If  there  was  a  similar  problem 

Fig.  85.— Toll  Bar  on  Wakefield  Road,  Sowerisy  Bridge  (1824-1870). 

to  tackle  to-day,  the  government  or  the  public  would 
undertake  it,  but  in  the  eighteenth  century  it  was  left 
to  private  enterprise.  A  number  of  merchants  and 
landowners  formed  themselves  into  a  company,  or 
Turnpike  Trust,  with  the  object  of  improving  the  road 
between  two  towns,  and  they  applied  to  Parliament  for 


power  to  make  their  road.  The  revenue  of  the  Trust 
was  obtained  from  the  tolls  collected  at  the  bar  houses. 
The  Turnpike  Roads  were  better  planned  than  the  old 
roads.  The  present  road  to  Queensbury — ^the  tram 
route — was  a  Turnpike  Road,  made  under  an  Act  of 
Parliament  dated  1753,  and  its  toll-bars  were  abolished 
in  1861.  The  old  road  went  up  Range  Bank  and  across 
Swales  Moor,  and  it  was  also  the  only  way  to  Leeds  until 
the  Whitehall  Road  was  opened.  The  Act  concerning 
the  Halifax  and  Rochdale  Road  over  Blackstone  Edge 
came  into  force  on  June  1st,  1735,  and  is  one  of  the 
earliest  in  the  country.  The  road  to  Todmorden  and 
Burnley  was  made  by  a  Trust  created  in  1760,  and 
followed  a  route  through  Luddenden  Foot,  Mytholm- 
royd,  and  Hebden  Bridge.  The  old  pack-horse  road  into 
Lancashire  went  by  Highroad  Well.  Li  the  18th 
century,  this  was  known  as  Harewood  Well,  or  in  the 
dialect  pronunciation — Harrod  Well.  After  the  low 
turnpike  road  was  made,  the  name  was  corrupted  to 
Highroad  Well.  This  high  road  is  about  Midgley  called 
the  Heights  Road,  and  beyond  Blackshaw  Head  it 
is  known  as  the  Long  Causeway.  The  local  troops  used 
this  road  in  the  Civil  Wars.  In  many  places  it  resembles 
a  mountain  pass.  Its  route  is  indicated  in  the  following 

"  Burnley  for  ready  money, 
Mearclough  noa  trust ; 
Yo're  peeping  in  at  Stiperden, 
And  call  at  Kebs  yo'  must ; 
Blackshaw  Head  for  travellers, 
And  Heptonstall  for  trust ; 
Hepton  Brig  for  landladies, 
And  Midgley  near  the  moor  ; 
Ludd end  en's  a  warm  spot, 
Koyle's  Head's  cold  ; 
An'  when  yo'  get  to  Halifax, 
Yo'  mun  be  varry  bold." 



A  journey  over  a  section  of  this  old  route,  returning 
home  by  the  newer  and  lower  road,  will  give  you  the 
best  idea  of  the  improvement  made.  There  is  a  point 
worth  noting  about  this  Calder  Yale  road.  If  there  had 
been  a  national  system  of  roads,  as  there  is  in  France, 
there  would  be  a  great  trunk  road  from  Todmorden 
down  the  length  of  the  Calder  Valley  to  Wakefield. 
Because  the  roads  were  made  by  local  committees,  there 
is  a  link  missing  between  Luddenden  Foot  and  Sowerby 
Bridge,  and  carts  have  to  take  the  hilly  way  by  Tuel 

Fig.  86.— Pack  Saddle  and  Pillion. 

The  most  famous  English  road  engineers  were  Telford 
and  Macadam.  Telford's  road  from  London  to  Holyhead 
was  so  planned  that  a  horse  might  trot  every  inch  of 
the  way,  even  over  the  part  that  threaded  the  Welsh 
mountains.  Macadam  uivented  a  new  surface  for  roads, 
and  we  still  speak  of  macadamised  roads.  Yorkshire 
had  a  gifted  road-maker,  even  before  their  time,  named 
John  Metcalfe  of  Knaresborough.  He  lost  his  sight 
when  quite  a  child  through  small-pox,  but  "Blind  Jack" 

BLIND  JACK.  229 

grew  up  fearless  and  strong,  fond  of  following  the 
hounds,  and  excelling  in  many  sports.  Metcalfe  con- 
tracted to  make  a  road  through  a  bog  near  Harrogate, 
and  he  built  a  bridge  at  Boroughbridge.  He  was  so 
successful  that  he  was  engaged  to  make  many  roads 
throughout  Yorkshire  and  Lancashire.  "  Blind  Jack  " 
made  the  road  passing  Shibden  Industrial  School,  called 
Lister  Boad,  which  was  the  main  road  before  Godley 
Boad  was  cut.  He  also  was  responsible  for  the  road 
between  Halifax  and  Huddersfield.  It  is  wonderful, 
that  without  sight,  he  was  able  to  survey  a  road.  Stick 
in  hand,  he  walked  up  and  down  the  hillsides  to  gain  a 
knowledge  of  the  country  to  be  traversed,  and  in  that 
manner  decided  on  the  best  line  for  his  road.  The 
canals  and  roads  made  a  great  difference  to  our  district, 
and  were  partly  the  cause  of  the  gravitation  of  the 
people  to  the  valleys.  New  houses  and  mills  were  built 
on  the  road-side  at  Triangle  and  Bipponden.  Soyland 
then  decreased  in  population.  In  Ovenden  township, 
the  bulk  of  the  people  had  lived  in  Wheatley,  Ovenden 
Wood,  and  Mixenden.  The  Keighley  Boad,  completed 
about  1785,  went  up  the  other  valley,  and  a  new 
Ovenden  sprang  up  which  has  since  become  the  centre 
of  the  township.  The  cleverest  engineer  could  not 
make  level  roads  in  Halifax  Parish  because  of  our  hills. 
Leeds  and  other  towns  were  better  placed,  and  Halifax 
was  finding  that  Nature  had  handicapped  it  for  the  new 
development  of  road  travel.  The  system  of  turnpike- 
roads  throughout  the  country  made  it  possible  for 
Englishmen  to  explore  their  own  country,  and  travelling 
became  fashionable.  This  in  turn  created  a  demand  for 
books  on  the  sights  and  history  of  every  district. 
Among   these  publications  is   ''  The  History  and  Anti- 


quities  of  the  Parish  of  Hahfax  in  Yorkshire,"  written  by 
the  Kev.  John  Watson,  1775.  It  is  a  thick  quarto 
volume,  and  contains  the  result  of  much  industry  and 

In  the  summer  of  1781,  a  Colchester  clergyman, 
while  on  a  driving  tour,  described  the  scenery  on  the 
main  road  between  Hebden  Bridge  and  Todmorden: — 
"The  valley  contracts  itself;  the  hills  crowd  about 
you,  rising  almost  perpendicularly  on  each  side,  wooded 
from  top  to  bottom  with  black,  craggy  rocks  joeeping  out 
here  and  there ;  picturesque  little  mills  with  their  rush 
of  water,  close  under  the  woods  ;  bridges,  some  of  stone 
of  a  single  arch,  others  of  wood,  but  all  exactly  such  as 
a  painter  would  have  them ;  cottages  perched  about, 
some  in  the  road,  others  close  to  the  stream,  others  over 
your  head,  in  most  romantic  and  improbable  situations, 
more  like  stone  nests  than  houses ;  here  and  there  little 
cross  vales  opening  into  this,  paths  winding  up  the 
woods,  craggy  roads  losing  themselves  round  the  corner 
of  a  wood,  etc.,  etc.  I  sicken  with  vague  description! 
In  short,  the  effect  it  had  on  me  was  that  of  painted 
landscapes  of  the  most  invented  and  poetic  kind  realised; 
and  every  object,  animate  or  inanimate,  that  we  saw  was 
of  a  piece  with  the  surrounding  scene,  and  they  seem  to 
have  been  placed  where  they  were  on  purpose,  as  much 
as  mile-stones  and  guide-posts  are  in  vulgar  roads ;  a 
man  with  a  pack  on  his  shoulder  and  a  stafl*  in  his  hand, 
trudging  over  a  rustic  bridge,  or  climbing  up  a  winding 
path  through  a  wood ;  men  driving  pack-horses,  or 
lounging  along  side-ways  on  the  empty  pack-saddle — a 
favourite  figure  with  painters."  Writing  of  the  view  of 
Calder  Vale  at  Elland,  he  said  "I  never  felt  anything  so 
fine.      I  shall  remember  it  and  thank  God  for  it  as  long 


as  I  live.  I  am  sorry  I  did  not  think  to  say  grace  after 
it.  Are  we  to  be  grateful  for  nothing  but  beef  and 
pudding;  to  thank  God  for  life  and  not  for  happiness?" 
The  great  inn -yards  are  interesting  relics  of  this 
epoch  of  olden  Halifax.  We  have  the  Union  Cross 
Yard,  Old  Cock  Yard,  Northgate  Hotel  Yard,  Upper 
George  and  Lower  George  Yards.  Many  of  these  yards 
were  larger  at  one  time,  but  their  space  has  been 
encroached  upon  by  building.  The  large  stones  placed 
at  the  entrances  and  corners,  and  the  horse-blocks  speak 
of  a  time  when  the  yards  were  crowded  with  farmers' 
gigs,  manufacturers'  carts,  carriers'  waggons,  and  stage 
coaches.  Every  morning  at  nine  o'clock,  a  waggon 
belonging  to  Deacon,  Hanson  &  Co.  set  out  for  London, 
and  other  firms  also  had  a  service.  Three  times  a  week 
a  waggon  left  for  Skipton,  Settle,  Lancaster,  and  Kendal, 
and  other  carriers  catered  for  Sheffield,  Manchester, 
Leeds,  and  all  other  centres.  In  1845,  there  were 
about  fifty  carriers  who  made  regular  journeys  from 
Halifax  to  various  places.  Pack-horses  were  still  work- 
ing about  1850,  and  P.  G.  Hamerton  the  art  critic, 
mentions  in  his  book,  pack-horses  at  Widdop. 

In  1830,  the  following  coaches  left  the  White  Swan 
Inn: — 

4  0  a.m.       Koyal  Hope     -         -     to  London  in  27  hours. 

5  30     ,,  Shuttle     -  -     to  Blackpool. 

7  0     ,.  Perseverance    -  -  to  Manchester. 

7  0,,  Hark  Forward  to  Wakefield. 

7  0     ,,  Alexander         -  -  to  Bradford  and  Leeds. 

8  0     ,,  Duke  of  Leeds  -  to  Liverpool. 

11  15     ,,  High  Flier        -         -     to  Wetherby. 

12  15  p.m.      Royal  Mail       -         -     to  Manchester. 
12  45     ,,  Royal  Mail        -        -     to  York. 

1  30  ,,  Commerce         -  -  to  Liverpool. 

3  15  ,,  Duke  of  Leeds  -  to  Leeds. 

3  45  ,,  High  Flier        -  -  to  Manchester. 

6  0  ,,  Commerce         -  -  to  Leeds. 


Coaches  ran  from  the  other  inns,  either  as  rivals  to 
those  from  the  Swan,  or  to  different  places.  The  Post 
Office  used  the  mail  coaches  for  sending  letters,  but 
postage  was  dear.  In  1820,  the  postage  on  a  letter 
from  Halifax  to  Bradford  or  Huddersfield  was  4d.,  to 
Manchester  6d.,  and  to  London  lid.  Halifax  had  not 
so  good  a  coach  service  as  Leeds,  Wakefield,  and  Man- 
chester, and  Halifax  merchants  at  the  beginning  of  the 
nineteenth  century  found  that  their  competitors  in 
other  towns  had  fuller  and  later  information  about  the 
various  markets.  Travelling  by  stage-coach  was  too 
dear  for  poor  people,  and  we  have  an  interesting  account 
as  to  how  one  man  came  by  road  from  London..  Luke 
Priestley  of  Brandy  Hole,  Greetland,  was  discharged 
from  the  army  in  April,  1817,  in  the  Isle  of  Wight. 
Wearing  his  red  coat  and  knapsack,  with  about  a  guinea 
in  his  pocket,  he  set  out  for  home.  By  the  time  he 
reached  London  he  had  little  money  left.  Enquiring  for 
the  north  road,  he  walked  to  Highgate,  whence  a  man 
carried  his  knapsack  three  miles  for  sixpence,  and  a 
coachman  gave  him  a  lift  to  Hatfield,  where  he  stayed 
the  night.  At  that  time,  waggons  loaded  with  wool 
journeyed  from  London  to  Halifax,  the  drivers  riding  on 
ponies  beside  their  waggons.  Priestley  looked  out 
for  these  drivers,  and  would  get  a  ride  on  the  pony 
whilst  the  driver  had  a  sleep  in  the  waggon  tail.  By 
this  means  he  reached  Wakefield,  where  he  sought  out  a- 
flock  dealer  who  traded  with  Greetland.  He  stayed  the 
night  at  his  house,  and  reached  home  the  next  day  on 
the  flock  dealer's  cart. 

John  Foster,  who  was  born  at  the  Manor  House, 
Wadsworth  Lanes,  near  Hebden  Bridge  in  1770,  became 
a  great  English  writer  by  reason  of  his  famous  essays. 


In  his  boyhood  he  rambled  among  the  "narrrow,  deep, 
long-extended  glens,  with  thick,  dark  woods  and  rapid 
torrents  from  the  mountains,  all  together  forming  scenes 
of  the  most  solemn  and  romantic  character."  In  1801, 
he  paid  his  last  visit  to  Yorkshire,  for  he  was  so 
disappointed  that  he  never  came  north  again.  Some 
years  afterwards  he  wrote  these  remarkable  words: — 
''  The  solemnity  and  silence  of  these  valleys,  with  almost 
all  their  romantic  and  ghostly  influences,  have  since 
vanished  at  the  invasion  of  agriculture  and  manu- 
facturing establishments."  We  all  know  that  the 
country  has  been  spoiled  since  John  Wesley,  Thomas 
Twining,  and  John  Foster  praised  its  beauties,  and  we 
blame  the  factories  for  the  change.  What  did  John 
Foster  mean  by  the  invasion  of  agriculture  ? 

In  the  eighteenth  century,  very  little  of  the  land, 
comparatively  speaking,  on  our  hill-sides  was  parcelled 
out  in  fields.  The  hills  were  more  like  the  fells  of  the 
Lake  District,  where  we  can  roam  about  just  where  we 
wish,  and  Foster  as  a  boy  would  be  able  to  walk  for 
miles  without  encountering  a  stone  wall.  About  Wads- 
worth  to-day,  we  are  obliged  to  keep  to  field-paths, 
and  to  thread  through  innumerable  wall-stiles.  At  the 
end  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and  at  the  beginning  of 
the  nineteenth,  Enclosure  Acts  were  passed  by  Parlia- 
ment, which  afiected  our  parish  along  with  the  rest  of 
the  kingdom.  The  lord  of  the  manor  and  the  principal 
landowners  decided  to  improve  the  waste  lands,  the 
commons,  and  the  great  open  fields  of  the  township  or 
parish.  They  proceeded  to  obtain  an  Enclosure  Act,  and 
after  such  Act  received  the  royal  assent,  commissioners 
came  and  divided  the  land  among  the  landowners.  In 
many  places — Elland  and  Stainland  are  local  examples — 



the  old  open  fields  which,  as  mentioned  in  one  of  our 
earliest  chapters,  had  been  in  existence  from  time 
immemorial,  were  divided  up  along  with  the  commons. 
The  poor  man  lost  his  right  to  pasture  his  cow,  donkey, 
or  pig,  and  the  right  to  gather  fuel  in  the  woods  or  on 
the  moors.  Some  men,  who  had  a  small  piece  of  land 
allotted  to  them,  could  not  afibrd  to  pay  the  cost  of 
fencing  and  enclosing  it,  nor. the  legal  charges  for  the 
Parliamentary  work,  and  therefore  they  had  to  sell  their 
share  to  some  richer  neighbour.  The  English  peasant 
lost  his  hold  on  the  land,  and  is  therefore  to-day  in  a 
very  difierent  position  from  the  French  peasant,  who, 
however  poor,  has  some  right  to  the  land.  In  the  great 
agricultural  districts  of  the  Midlands  and  the  South,  the 
smaller  farms  were  destroyed,  and  very  large  farms 
substituted.  The  peasants  were  thrown  out  of  work  and 
home,  and  they  and  their  children  flocked  into  Lancashire 
and  Yorkshire  to  find  employment  in  the  new  mills,  and 
thus  competed  with  the  local  people  for  work.  The 
landowners  became  very  rich  by  these  enclosures. 
Parliament  represented  only  the  landed  classes,  and  the 
poor  people  had  few  champions,  and  these  had  not  the 
power  to  oppose  the  Acts  to  any  purpose.  In  the 
farming  districts,  large  farms  were  made,  and  as  new 
methods  of  agriculture  were  being  tried,  and  as  corn  was 
at  a  high  price,  farming  was  very  profitable. 

In  the  township  of  Ovenden,  twelve  hundred  acres 
were  enclosed  in  1814.  Skircoat  Moor  is  about  fifty-six 
acres,  and  from  that  we  can  form  some  idea  of  the  large 
quantity  of  land  involved.  Some  of  it  would  be  very 
poor  land,  and  some  was  the  most  valuable  land  in 
Ovenden.  The  total  area  of  the  township  is  little  more 
than  five  thousand  acres,  therefore  about  one  quarter  of 



the  township  was  enclosed  at  that  time.  The  fields  of 
this  period  may  be  identified  by  their  straight  walls  and 
mathematical  planning.  They  are  easily  traced  in  the 
fields  along  Cousin  Lane,  lUingworth,  and  the  fields  on 
Illingworth  Moor — between  Wrigley  Hill  and  Soil  Hill. 
The  same  process  of  enclosure  took  place  in  the  other 
townships,  until  the  whole  parish  was  criss-crossed  with 
stone  walls.  The  enclosure  of  the  commons  obliged 
many  families  to  give  up  keeping  a  cow  and  there  was  a 

Photo.  E.  Roberts. 

Fig.  87.— Enclosures,  Cousin  Lane,  Ovenden. 

serious  milk  famine,  for  the  farmers  would  not  trouble  to 
sell  milk  retail.  Watson  mentions  the  shortage  as  one 
of  the  drawbacks  of  the  district,  and  the  Luddites 
threatened  to  shoot  George  Haigh  of  Copley  Gate  if  he 
would  not  sell  milk  to  his  neighbours.  Oatmeal  and 
oatcake  had  been  the  staple  food,  and  for  porridge  you 
must  have  milk.  The  milk  famine  made  the  people  into 
tea-drinkers,  and  white,  wheaten  bread  took  the  place  of 
havercake.  The  cottagers  also  lost  their  privilege  of 
gathering  sticks  in  the  woods  and  peat  from  the  moors, 
for    everywhere    there    were    planted     notice-boards-7- 


*' Trespassers  will  be  Prosecuted."  John  Foster  was 
one  of  the  few  men  who  voiced  the  injustice  of  the 
Enclosures,  and  we  can  easily  understand  how  the  sight 
of  all  these  new  raw  walls  moved  him  with  indignation. 

The  great  inventions,  by  means  of  which  cloth  was 
made  by  machinery — ^ water-power  and  steam-power 
taking  the  place  of  hand  labour — made  more  alterations 
in  the  life  of  the  people  than  had  ever  taken  place 
before.  Most  of  these  inventions  were  first  introduced 
in  the  cotton  trade,  a  comparatively  new  trade,  and  the 
more  conservative  woollen  and  worsted  manufacturers 
were  later  in  adopting  the  improvements.  In  1764, 
Hargreaves,  a  Blackburn  weaver,  patented  a  spinning 
jenny,  by  which  eight  threads  could  be  spun  instead  of 
the  single  thread  of  the  old-fashioned  spinning  wheel. 
Five  years  later,  Arkwright,  a  Preston  barber,  invented 
a  spinning  machine  in  which  the  cotton  was  drawn  out 
fine  by  means  of  rollers.  The  new  spinning  machines 
were  at  first  turned  by  hand,  and  later  by  a  horse  gin. 
Afterwards,  water  wheels  were  used  to  provide  power 
for  the  spinning  machinery.  There  was  much  prejudice 
against  the  new  machines,  and  many  of  them  were 
destroyed  by  crowds  who  thought  that  the  machinery 
would  take  away  their  livelihood.  Some  of  the  inventors 
were  in  danger  of  their  lives.  There  were  a  number  of 
cotton  mills  in  the  parish,  especially  towards  its  western 
end.  Calico  Hall,  the  old  name  for  Clare  Hall,  shows 
that  the  cotton  trade  was  carried  on  in  Halifax,  and  in 
the  eighteenth  century  there  was  a  cotton  factory  in 
Spring  Hall  Lane.  It  has  been  transformed  into  a  row 
of  houses,  and  is  near  the  Barracks. 

Our  interest  however,  is  more  in  the  worsted  trade. 
We  have  already  noted  the  great  difficulty  there  was  in 


supplying  the  weavers  with  yarn,  and  how  the  spinning 
had  to  be  done  in  the  farmhouses  of  Craven  and  other 
parts  of  Yorkshire.  The  worsted  manufacturers  were 
anxious  to  obtain  a  better  supply.  The  early  spinning 
mills  were  not  always  successful,  and  many  experiments 
had  to  be  made  before  satisfactory  yarn  could  be 
produced.  Mr.  Walker,  of  Walterclough  in  South- 
ovvram,  engaged  a  man  called  Swendall  to  fit  up  a  mill 
at  Shaw  Syke  about  1784,  and  later  a  spinning  mill  was 
built  at  Walterclough,  but  the  venture  was  a  failure. 
The  earliest  worsted  spinning  factory  is  said  to  have 
been  in  1  784,  at  Dolphin  Holme  near  Lancaster.  This 
mill  supplied  large  quantities  of  yarn  to  Halifax  and 
Bradford.  In  1792,  Thomas  Edmondson,  one  of  the 
partners  in  the  Dolphin  Holme  Mill,  built  a  large  mill  at 
Mytholmroyd,  and  for  many  years  it  was  the  largest 
spinning  factory  in  our  district.  It  stood  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  road  to  Mytholmroyd  Church,  where 
now  is  the  Empress  Foundry,  and  the  water-wheel  was 
driven  by  the  water  from  a  goit  connected  with  Hawks- 
clough.  A  few  corn  mills,  a  few  fulling  mills,  and  a  few^ 
shears-grinders'  works  dotted  here  and  there  on  the 
banks  of  the  streams,  made  up  the  total  of  the  old  mills. 
The  public-house  sign  "  The  Shears,"  marks  the  position 
of  a  shear-grinder  at  Lee  Bridge,  Whitegate  Bottom, 
West  Vale,  and  a  few  other  places.  The  finishing  of  a 
piece  of  cloth  is  still  called  "milling,"  though  every 
process  is  now  done  in  mills,  but  at  one  time,  only  the 
fulling  was  done  in  a  mill.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
nineteenth  century,  almost  every  clough  had  its  string 
of  new  spinning  mills,  and  the  moorland  becks  were 
kept  busy  turning  their  water-wheels.  At  first  the 
machine-spun  yarns  were  not  so  good  as  hand-spun,  but 
they   gradually   improved    until    the  weavers   preferred 



the  new  yarns.  We  hear  of  a  weaver  setting  a  row  of 
nineteen  candles  under  the  loom  beam  to  singe  the  loose 
hairs  of  the  rough,  machine-spun  yarn.  About  1800, 
Michael  Greenwood,  of  Limed  House  in  Shibden, 
invented  a  false  reed  or  sley  to  guide  the  yarn  into  its 
proper  place,  and  that  was  a  great  help  in  weaving  the 

Fig.  88.— "Mill  ne\r  Ovendex  Taken  Down  in  1817." 

Sketched  by  John  Hortter. 

new  yarn.  The  weavers  had  not  been  able  to  take  full 
advantage  of  Kay's  Fly  Shuttle,  which  had  been 
invented  as  early  as  1738,  until  the  stronger  mill-spun 
yarn  was  procurable.  Kay's  device  was  to  have  a 
shuttle  box  on  each  side  of  the  loom,  each  box  attached 
by  a  cord  to  a  short  stick,  which  he  held  in  one  hand. 
By  means  of  the  stick  and  the  two  cords,  he  could  jerk 
the  shuttle  from  one  box  to  the  other  along  a  race  board 


beneath  the  warps,  while  his  other  hand  was  free  to 
push  the  weft  home.  There  is  a  specimen  in  Bankfield 
Museum.  The  fly-shuttle  moved  much  faster  than  the 
old  one,  and  so  each  weaver  could  make  more  cloth  and 
wanted  more  yarn.  The  Rev.  Edmund  Cartwright 
invented  a  power-loom  between  1784  and  1787,  but  it 
was  a  long  time  after  that  before  weaving  machinery 
was  successfully  used.  Miss  Lister's  Diary  informs  us 
that  in  1826,  three  Halifax  firms  had  power  looms — 
Akroyd's,  Peter  Bold's,  and  Kershaw's — but  for  many 
years  after  that  date,  fancy  fabrics  w^ere  woven  by 

Then  came  the  Steam  Engine.  The  earliest  engines 
were  of  rudimentary  construction,  and  only  slowly  did 
they  supplant  the  water-wheel.  One  of  the  earliest 
steam  engines  to  be  erected  locally  was  at  Jumples  Mill, 
and  its  duty  was  to  pump  the  water  that  had  run  over 
the  water-wheel,  up  again  into  the  mill-race  to  drive  the 
water-wheel  once  more.  In  1825,  the  owners  of  the  mills 
driven  by  the  Mixenden  and  Wheatley  stream  were  so 
content  with  water-power,  that  they  decided  to  make  a 
reservoir  at  Ogden  to  ensure  a  more  constant  flow  of 
water.  But  in  1826  there  was  a  long  drought,  and  the 
mill-owners  abandoned  their  reservoir  scheme,  and 
equipped  their  mills  with  steam  engines.  Bradford 
manufacturers  adopted  factories  and  steam  power  more 
readily  than  the  Halifax  men,  and  from  this  time  we 
may  date  Bradford's  pre-eminence  in  the  w^orsted  trade. 
On  Saturday,  June  25th,  1831,  Miss  Lister  made  a 
journey  from  Halifax  to  York.  She  wrote  "  In  passing 
along,  I  could  not  help  observing  on  the  comparatively 
fine,  clear  air  of  Halifax.  Never  in  my  life  did  I  see  a 
more    smoky  place    than    Bradford.        The    great,    long 


chimneys  are  doubled  I  think,  in  number  within  these 
two  or  three  years.  The  same  may  be  said  of  Leeds. 
I  begin  to  consider  Halifax  one  of  the  cleanest  and  most 
comely  of  manufacturing  towns."  Five  years  later,  Miss 
Lister  made  this  note: — "Robert  Mann  said  that  three 
40 -horse  power,  and  one  60 -horse-power  steam  engines 
ordered  at  Low  Moor,  and  four  40-horse  power  engines 
ordered  at  Bowling  for  mills  to  be  built  in  Halifax." 
Eeturning  from  a  week-end  at  Bolton  Woods  in  1837, 
Miss  Lister  found  that  "  Halifax  is  now  brightening  into 
the  polish  of  a  large  smoke-canopied  commercial  town." 
One  of  the  largest  mills  built  at  this  time  was  Old 
Lane  Mill,  situated  between  Old  Lane  and  Lee  Bank, 
which  was  erected  by  James  Akroyd  in  1828,  and  had 
an  engine  of  60-horse  power.  The  Akroyd's,  as  we  have 
seen,  had  originally  carried  on  a  large  business  from 
their  homes  at  Brookhouse  and  Lanehead  near  Ogden. 
Then  they  built  Brookhouse  Mill,  run  by  a  water-wheel 
which  was  fed  by  an  ingenious  system  of  goits  and 
aqueducts.  With  the  era  of  steam,  the  Akroyd's  moved 
lower  down  the  valley,  and  erected  large  mills  at  Old 
Lane  and  Bowling  Dyke.  Steam  engines  require  a  large 
and  regular  supply  of  coal,  therefore  it  was  an  advantage 
to  be  near  the  canal.  Gradually,  the  mills  in  the  moor- 
land doughs  had  to  close,  and  newer  and  larger  mills 
were  built  in  the  Calder  Valley,  and  this  induced  the 
population  to  move  from  the  heights  into  the  valley 

"The  Naming  of  the  Hebble,"  by  T.  W.  Hanson. 

(Halifax  Antiquarian  Society's  Transactions,  1914). 
"  Halifax  in  the  Eighteenth  Century,"  by  F.  A.  Leyland. 

("Halifax  Courier,"  commencing  March  6th,  1886). 
"  A  Country  Clergyman  of  the  Eighteenth  Century  " — TWINING. 
"The  Village  Labourer,  1760-1832,"  by  J.  L.  &  B.  Hammond. 
"  Social  Life  in  Halifax,  early  in  the  Nineteenth  Century." 

[Diary  of  Miss  Lister].    ("  Hx.  Guardian,"  commencing  June  11th,  1887). 





From  "  The  Cry  oj  the  Children,"  by  Mrs.  Browning. 

Do  ye  hear  the  children  weeping,  O  my  brothers, 

Ere  the  sorrow  comes  with  years  ? 
They  are  leaning  their  young  heads  against  their  mothers, 

And  that  cannot  stop  their  tears. 
The  young  lambs  are  bleating  in  the  meadows. 

The  young  birds  are  chirping  in  the  nest, 
The  young  fawns  are  playing  with  the  shadows, 

The  young  flowers  are  blowing  toward  the  west — 
But  the  young,  young  children,  O  my  brothers, 

They  are  weeping  bitterly  ! 
They  are  weeping  in  the  playtime  of  the  others, 

In  the  country  of  the  free. 

'  For  oh,'  say  the  children,  '  we  are  weary, 

And  we  cannot  run  or  leap  ; 
If  we  cared  for  any  meadows,  it  were  merely 

To  drop  down  in  them  and  sleep. 
Our  knees  tremble  sorely  in  the  stooping. 

We  fall  upon  our  faces,  trying  to  go  ; 
And,  underneath  our  heavy  eyelids  drooping, 

The  reddest  flower  would  look  as  pale  as  snow. 
For,  all  day,  we  drag  our  burden  tiring 

Through  the  coal-dark,  underground; 
Or,  all  day,  we  drive  the  wheels  of  iron 
In  the  factories,  round  and  round. 

'  For,  all  day,  the  wheels  are  droning,  turning  ; 

Their  wind  comes  in  our  faces, 
Till  our  hearts  turn,  our  heads  with  pulses  burning, 

And  the  walls  turn  in  their  places  : 
Turns  the  sky  in  the  high  window  blank  and  reeling. 

Turns  the  long  light  that  drops  adown  the  wall, 
Turns  the  black  flies  that  crawl  along  the  ceiling, 

All  are  turning,  all  the  day,  and  we  with  all. 
And  all  day,  the  iron  wheels  are  droning. 

And  sometimes  we  could  pray, 
*'  O  ye  wheels,''  (breaking  out  in  a  mad  moaning) 
"Stop!  be  silent  for  to-day!  "  ' 


Besides  turning  our  local  world  upside  down,  the 
mills  wrought  tremendous  changes  in  the  habits  and 
lives  of  the  people.  The  women  and  children,  who  had 
plied  the  spinning  wheels,  were  engaged  to  attend  to  the 
new  spinning  machines,  and  were  the  first  to  suffer  in 
the  mills.  Children  had  been  badly  treated  before  this 
time.  Defoe  noted  with  approval  that  about  Halifax 
''scarce  anything  above  four  years  old,  but  its  hands 
were  sufficient  for  its  own  support."  The  statement 
shocks  us.  The  little  biographies  of  workers  in  the 
Wesleyan  Revival,  give  us  glimpses  of  the  hard  times 
imposed  on  children.  Fiddler  Thompson  and  Jonathan 
Savile  were  made  cripples  by  the  cruelties  of  hard 
masters.  Titus  Knight,  afterwards  minister  of  Square 
Chapel,  worked  in  the  Shibden  coal-pits  when  he  was 
seven.  Dan  Taylor,  who  was  born  at  Sour  Milk  Hall  and 
became  a  Baptist  preacher,  commenced  work  in  a  colliery 
under  Beacon  Hill  at  five  years  old.  The  sledges  were 
all  dragged  from  the  coal-face  to  the  pit-shaft  by  boys 
and  girls.  It  was  said  that  unless  their  backbones  were 
bent  when  they  were  little,  boys  would  never  make 

The  mills  created  a  greater  demand  for  child  labour, 
and  the  hardships  and  cruelty  were  intensified.  Boys 
and  girls  were  sent  into  the  mills  when  they  were  five 
or  six  years  old ;  some  were  even  younger.  In  those 
days,  instead  of  the  children  being  taught  that  the 
rooks  said  "Caw!  Caw!"  they  were  told  that  they  called 
"  Wark  !  Wark !  "  We  know  that  fathers  took  their 
children  out  of  bed  before  five  o'clock  on  a  dark  winter's 
morning,  and  carried  them  on  their  shoulders  to  the 
mill.  Clocks  were  a  luxury,  and  many  children,  afraid 
of  being  late,  were  at   the  mill  gates  long  before  the 


opening  hour,  and  the  th^ed  little  mites  would  fall  asleep 
until  wakened  by  the  rattle  of  the  machinery.  *They 
stayed  at  the  mill  until  eight  o'clock  at  night,  and  the 
engine  did  not  stop  for  meal  times.  There  was  no  half- 
time,  no  Saturday  half-holiday,  the  machinery  was  not 
fenced,  nor  were  there  any  factory  inspectors.  The 
overlookers  beat  the  children  unmercifully,  hitting  them 
to  keep  them  awake,  and  the  sleepy  infants  sometimes 
fell  against  the  machinery  and  were  maimed  or  killed. 
A  spinner,  in  his  evidence  before  the  Commissioners  in 
1833,  said  "I  find  it  difficult  to  keep  my  piecers  awake 
the  last  hour  of  a  winter's  evening ;  have  seen  them  fall 
asleep,  and  go  on  performing  their  work  with  their 
hands  while  they  were  asleep,  after  the  billey  had 
stopped,  when  their  work  was  over ;  I  have  stopped  and 
looked  at  them  for  two  minutes,  going  through  the 
motions  of  piecening  when  they  were  fast  asleep,  when 
there  was  no  work  to  do,  and  they  were  doing  nothing." 
A  tradition  clings  to  Brookhouse  Mill  about  a  dark 
winter's  morning  when  several  factory  children  met 
their  death.  It  was  so  dark  and  slippery  that  they 
must  have  fallen  from  the  bridge  into  the  stream,  but 
all  that  was  known  was  that  their  little  bodies  were 
found    between    the    bridge    and    the    stepping-stones. 

Large  numbers  of  children  were  wanted  for  the  new 
mills,  and  the  mill-masters  imported  many  of  them  from 
a  distance.  The  Overseers  of  the  Poor  in  the  Midlands 
and  the  South  of  England  were  glad  to  get  rid  of  their 
pauper  children,  who  were  often  sent  in  batches  to  the 
mills  of  Yorkshire  and  Lancashire.  Many  of  these  boys 
and  girls  had  lived  in  beautiful  places  similar  to  Gold- 
smith's "Sweet  Auburn,  loveliest  village  of  the  plain," 
but   the   Enclosure  Acts  had  made  their  homes  into  a 


"Deserted  Village,"  and  sunk  their  families  into 
poverty.  These  poor  mites,  housed  and  fed  by  the  mill- 
owners,  were  worked  under  horrible  and  cruel  conditions 
that  may  be  described  as  slavery.  The  worst  period 
was  from  1804  until  1819,  when  the  Government  was 
moved  to  make  enquiries  about  the  pauper  mill  children, 
because  they  were,  in  a  sense,  wards  of  the  state. 

About  the  year  1830,  Richard  Oastler  was  moved  by 
the  condition  of  the  children,  and  determined  to  get  an 
Act  of  Parliament  passed,  fixing  ten  hours  as  the  longest 
time  for  children  to  work.  Oastler  was  steward  for  the 
Thornhill's  of  Fixby  Hall,  and  there  is  a  statue  of  him 
in  Bradford.  He  was  tall,  of  commanding  appearance, 
a  gifted  orator,  and  he  became  the  leader  of  a  great 
movement  in  the  West  Riding  in  favour  of  shorter  hours 
of  labour.  On  April  24th,  1832,  there  w^as  held  a  great 
meeting  at  York.  Men,  women,  and  children  walked 
from  all  parts  of  the  West  Riding  on  a  "  Pilgrimage  of 
Mercy."  York  Racecourse  was  crowded  with  the 
multitude  of  people,  many  of  whom  suffered  greatly  by 
their  long  march  to  York  and  home  again  in  bad 
weather.  On  January  1st,  1834,  an  Act  came  into  force 
by  which  no  child  under  nine  could  work  in  a  mill,  and 
children  under  eleven  were  not  to  work  more  than 
forty-eight  hours  a  week.  Christmas  Day  and  Good 
tFriday  were  to  be  holidays,  and  there  were  to  be  eight 
half-day  holidays  in  the  year,  to  be  fixed  by  the  mill- 
master.  It  was  not  until  June,  1847,  that  the  Ten 
Hours  Bill  became  law,  largely  through  the  unselfish 
advocacy  of  John  Fielden,  M.P.,  of  Todmorden,  who 
though  a  large  manufacturer,  had  worked  for  years  to 
better  the  conditions  of  factory  workers. 

The  introduction  of  machinery  threw  a  great  many 


men  out  of  work  at  the  time,  for  each  machine  did  the 
work  of  several  men.  Among  the  first  men  to  suffer 
were  the  croppers  who  finished  the  cloths  bj  cutting  the 
nap  with  the  large  cropping  shears.  As  the  machinery 
increased,  the  small  workshops  where  the  croppers 
worked  found  it  harder  to  keep  going,  and  one  after 
another  was  forced  to  close.  The  croppers  could  not 
find  work  elsewhere,  for  at  the  time  trade  was  very  bad. 
England  was  fighting  Napoleon,  food  was  dear,  and  a 
large  number  of  the  people  were  starving.  At  length, 
some  of  the  men  growing  desperate,  formed  a  secret 
society  to  try  to  alter  their  condition  by  fair  means  or 
foul.  These  men  became  the  followers  of  "  General 
Ludd,"  and  each  took  an  oath  that  he  would  obey  all 
commands,  and  keep  absolute  secrecy  about  the  men 
who  were  in  the  movement  and  their  p?ans.  There 
never  was  a  real  man  called  "General  Ludd,"  but  all  the 
orders  were  issued  in  the  name  of  this  fictitious  leader. 
Hence  the  men  were  always  known  as  Luddites. 

Near  to  Halifax  Parish  Church  was  the  St.  Crispin 
Inn.  The  old  building  was  pulled  down  in  1844,  and  a 
new  inn  erected  on  the  site  which  is  now  called  "  The 
Old  Crispin."  Some  time  in  the  spring  of  1812,  there 
was  an  important  meetmg  of  the  Halifax  Luddites 
at  the  St.  Crispin.  The  men  came  in,  one  or  two 
at  a  time,  at  irregular  intervals,  so  as  to  avoid  the 
appearance  of  going  to  a  meeting.  At  the  foot  of 
the  stairs,  and  at  the  door  of  the  club-room  upstairs, 
sentinels  were  posted  to  see  that  no  stranger  entered. 
John  Baines,  a  hatter,  the  oldest  man  in  the  room, 
presided  over  the  meeting.  A  delegate  from  Notting- 
ham addressed  the  Halifax  Luddites,  and  he  said  that 
in  his  part  of  the  country  they  had  collected  thousands 


of  guns,  pistols,  cind  other  weapons,  and  were  preparing 
for  a  general  uprising  in  May.  He  concluded  by  saying 
that  some  Nottingham  men  even  advocated  shooting  the 
masters  who  owned  the  new  mills.  George  Mellor,  a 
Hucldersfield  cropper,  who  became  the  ringleader  in  this 
district,  welcomed  the  suggestion,  and  declared  that  the 
Luddites  ought  to  attack  Cartwright  of  Rawfald,  and 
Horsfall  of  Marsden,  two  masters  who  were  always 
threatening  what  they  would  do  to  the  Luddites  if  they 
came  to  their  mills.  After  some  discussion,  a  coin  was 
tossed  up  to  decide  which  should  be  attacked  first,  and 
the  choice  fell  on  Cartwright.  The  Luddites  talked 
about  various  plans,  and  finally  decided  to  meet  near 
the  Dumb  Steeple  at  Cooper  Bridge  at  eleven  o'clock  on 
Saturday  night,  April  11th,  18 12.  Guns  and  pistols 
were  collected  by  small  groups  of  armed  and  disguised 
men  who  went  visiting  lonely  houses  in  the  night  time, 
compelling  the  inmates  to  deliver  up  their  fire-arms. 

At  the  appointed  time,  the  Luddites  from  Halifax, 
Huddersfield,  the  Spen  Valley  and  other  places, 
assembled  in  a  field  near  the  Dumb  Steeple.  Some  of 
the  men  did  not  care  for  the  desperate  work,  but  having 
taken  the  oath,  they  feared  to  be  killed  as  traitors  if 
they  neglected  to  turn  up  at  the  meeting  place.  It  was 
about  midnight  when  the  expedition  marched  to  the 
attack.  Many  of  the  Luddites  wore  masks,  others  had 
blackened  their  faces  so  that  they  could  not  be  identified, 
and  they  all  answered  to  numbers  when  the  roll  was 
called.  Some  had  guns  and  pistols,  while  others  carried 
large  hammers,  mauls,  hatchets,  or  stout  sticks. 

Kawfold  Mill  was  not  far  away,  and  Samuel  Hartley, 
a  Halifax  cropper  who  had  at  one  time  worked  for 
Cartwright,  acted  as  guide.      Cartwright  was  expecting 


an  attack,  and  he  had  about  half-a-dozen  soldiers  and 
five  or  six  trusted  workmen,  well  armed,  inside  the  mill, 
and  he  had  barricaded  the  doors  and  staircases.  The 
Luddites  were  expecting  a  contingent  from  Leeds,  but 
not  daring  to  wait  any  longer,  they  commenced  the 
attack  by  shattering  the  mill  windows  with  a  shower 
of  stones.  They  were  met  by  a  volley  from  the 
defenders,  and  the  alarm  bell  was  set  clanging  to  call  the 
cavalry  billeted  at  Liversedge.  Kepeated  attempts  were 
made  to  gain  an  entrance  to  the  mill,  but  the  strong 
doors  resisted  all  efforts.  The  Luddites  persisted  until 
their  ammunition  was  finished,  but  they  knew  they 
could  not  withstand  the  cavalry,  whose  arrival  was 
expected  at  any  moment.  Mellor  was  obliged  to  call 
his  men  off,  and  the  defeated  Luddites  fled.  It  was 
impossible  to  remove  the  wounded.  Every  man  was 
anxious  to  escape  and  to  hide  himself,  because  of  the 
search  that  was  certain  to  be  made.  Hartley,  the 
Halifax  cropper,  died  the  next  day  from  the  wound  he 
had  received.  His  funeral  was  attended  by  a  multitude 
who  looked  upon  him  as  a  martyr  for  the  cause.  Booth, 
a  Huddersfield  man,  had  one  leg  shattered,  and  he  also 
succumbed  to  his  wounds. 

Before  the  end  of  the  same  month,  on  April  28th, 
Mr.  Horsfall  of  Marsden  was  shot  by  George  Mellor  and 
a  few  accomplices,  as  he  was  returning  home  from 
Huddersfield.  The    authorities    were    aroused,    and 

proceeded  to  end  the  Luddites'  terrorism,  and  to  punish 
those  who  had  taken  part  in  these  attacks.  Two  police 
spies,  M'Donald  and  Gossling  came  from  Manchester  on 
July  8th,  1812,  to  try  to  trap  some  of  the  Halifax 
Luddites.  They    were    dressed     as     workmen,    and 

pretended  to  be  seeking  employment  in  Halifax.     They 


went  to  the  St.  Crispin  Inn  and  found  there  a  man 
named  Charles  Milnes,  a  Luddite,  who  was  very 
talkative,  and  they  soon  drew  from  him  many  facts 
about  the  local  Luddites.  M'Donald  and  Gossling 
professed  to  be  sympathetic  towards  the  movement  and 
anxious  to  enrol  themselves  as  Luddites,  and  treated 
Milnes  to  so  much  drink  that  he  told  all  they  wanted 
to  know.  After  it  was  dark,  the  three  went  to  the 
house  of  John  Baines,  where  they  found  the  old  man 
with  two  of  his  sons  and  other  two  men  seated  round 
the  fire.  Milnes  introduced  his  new  friends,  and  they 
took  the  Luddites'  oath.  M'Donald  called  several  times 
after  this  at  Baines's  workshop  to  talk  to  the  old  man, 
and  to  notice  who  came  to  visit  him.  A  few  days  after 
the  spies  left  Halifax,  soldiers  surrounded  Baines's  shop, 
and  the  six  men  who  had  been  present  at  the  swearing- 
in  ceremony  were  sent  to  prison  to  await  their  trial. 

The  collecting  of  fire-arms  still  continued,  for  the 
Luddite  leaders  were  planning  a  general  rising  through- 
out the  North  of  P]ngland.  The  following  episode, 
which  took  place  locally,  is  typical  of  many  such 
midnight  raids.  On  the  last  Saturday  night  in  August, 
1812,  George  Haigh,  who  lived  at  Copley  Gate,  heard  a 
loud  rapping  at  his  door.  He  got  up  and  went  on  to  the 
landing,  and  heard  some  men  calling  out  "Your  arms! 
Your  arms  !  "  Haigh  said  "  What  do  you  want  ?  "  and 
one  of  the  party  answered  "  General  Ludd,  my  master, 
has  sent  me  for  the  arms  you  have."  "I  have  nothing 
of  the  kind,"  rejoined  Haigh,  "for  God's  sake  go  home." 
The  men  began  to  fire  and  to  make  a  terrible  noise  by 
banging  the  door.  Haigh  tried  to  pacify  them  again, 
but  they  insisted  that  he  had  two  guns  and  four  pistols. 
John  Tillotson,  the  apprentice,  said  "  Master,  you  had 


better  give  them  up  or  they  will  shoot  us."  So  he 
consented  to  give  them  a  gun,  and  Tillotson  took  it  to 
the  door.  When  the  apprentice  opened  the  door,  the 
Luddites  ran  round  the  corner  of  the  house,  but 
presently  returned  and  came  into  the  house.  They 
asked  for  the  ramrod  and  a  pistol,  and  threatened  to 
shoot  Tillotson  if  he  did  not  find  them.  When  the 
pistol  was  delivered  up,  the  Luddites  told  him  to  inform 
his  master  they  would  visit  Haigh  again,  and  shoot  him 
if  he  did  not  sell  his  milk  among  his  neighbours. 

A  few  of  the  Luddites  turned  traitor,  and  London 
detectives  came  into  Yorkshire  to  discover  the  ring- 
leaders. By  the  end  of  the  year,  about  a  hundred 
suspected  men  were  lodged  in  York  Castle.  The  Assizes 
commenced  early  in  the  new  year  of  1813,  and  a  terrible 
time  it  proved  for  this  district,  for  most  of  the  towns 
had  some  man  among  the  prisoners.  George  Mellor 
and  two  others  were  hanged  for  the  murder  of  Horsfall ; 
five  Luddites  were  hanged  for  attacking  Rawfold  Mill ; 
three  more  who  demanded  arms  at  Copley  Gate,  and 
six  other  men  for  taking  guns  elsewhere,  met  the  same 
fate.  Old  John  Baines  and  the  men  who  were  present 
when  the  two  police  spies  were  sworn  in,  were  all 
transported  for  seven  years.  Fourteen  of  the  Luddites 
were  hanged  at  York  on  one  day,  and  a  huge  crowd 
gathered  to  witness  the  executions.  It  was  a  terrible 
climax.  The  full  story  of  the  outrages  is  most  painful 
reading,  but  it  gives  us  some  little  idea  of  the  hard  times 
of  a  hundred  years  ago.  For  everyone  of  those  men  who 
in  despair  followed  "  General  Ludd,"  there  must  have 
been  hundreds  who  suffered  and  died  in  silence. 

The  failure  of  the  Luddite .  Biots  and  the  severe 
punishments  did  nothing  to  ease  the  hardships  of  the 



people,  and  the  Government  and  those  in  authority 
V  were  afraid  there  would  be  further  risings.  Working 
men  began  to  think  there  would  be  no  improvement  in 
their  conditions  until  Parliament  was  elected  by  the 
whole  people,  instead  of  by  a  favoured  few.  To  support 
these  views,  a  huge  meeting  of  sixty  to  eighty  thousand 
persons  was  held  on  August  16th,  1819,  in  St.  Peter's 
Field,  Manchester.  Through  some  mis-management, 
cavalry  were  ordered  to  clear  the  ground,  and  half-a- 
dozen  men  were  killed,  and  very  many  people  maimed. 
This  melee  was  called  the  Manchester  Massacre,  or  the 
Battle  of  Peterloo — a  name  compounded  from  St.  Peter's 
and  Waterloo.  Some  men  from  Halifax  district  were 
present,  and  a  Triangle  man  came  home  with  a  severe 
sword-cut  on  his  shoulder.  There  was  much  excitement 
in  Halifax  that  Monday  night  when  the  news  came,  and 
Miss  Lister  wrote  "Great  many  people  about  to-night  in 
the  streets,  men  talking  together  in  groups."  Benjamin 
Wilson  states  that  at  Skircoat  Green,  the  men  went  into 
mourning,  and  wore  grey  hats  with  weeds  round  them. 
On  the  Wednesday,  August  18th,  a  meeting  was  held  on 
Skircoat  Moor,  but  the  constable  and  a  magistrate  put  in 
an  appearance,  and  threatened  to  read  the  Riot  Act. 
The  principal  speaker,  a  man  dressed  in  black,  mounted 
on  a  black  horse,  who  had  come  to  give  particulars  of  the 
Manchester  meeting,  was  afraid  of  proceeding  with  his 
speech.  Another  great  meeting  of  the  Reformers  was 
held  on  Skircoat  Moor  on  Monday,  October  4th.  The 
procession,  with  flags  flying  and  bands  of  music,  was 
formed  in  Horton  Street,  and  three  thousand  people 
listened  to  the  speeches  from  one  o'clock  until  after  four, 
on  a  very  wet  day.  There  was  a  panic  once  or  twice 
because  it  was  reported  that  the  Yeomanry  were  going 
to  charge  the  crowd. 


Miss  Lister  tells  us  that  a  warehouse  at  Wards  End 
was  made  into  a  barracks,  and  that  four  companies  of 
the  6th  Foot  were  stationed  there  in  anticipation  of  a 
rising.  The  outlook  was  serious  for  all  classes,  for  while 
the  poorer  folks  were  short  of  work  and  food,  the  richer 
people  were  afraid  that  violence  would  be  done  to  them 
or  to  their  property.  A  meeting  was  held  in  the 
Sessions  room  near  the  Theatre  Royal,  to  consider  the 
formation  of  a  Volunteer  Cavalry  Troop  to  defend  the 
property  owners.  Many  Volunteer  Corps  were  raised  at 
this  time,  not  as  a  defence  against  a  foreign  foe,  but  to 
fight  the  people  if  there  should  be  a  rising.  In  1826, 
there  were  riots  in  Lancashire  and  at  Bradford,  when 
crowds  of  hand-loom  weavers,  who  were  out  of  work, 
attempted  to  destroy  the  power  looms.  Dragoons  came 
to  Halifax  in  May,  1826,  to  protect  the  power-looms  in 
the  mills  of  Kershaw,  Akroyd,  and  Peter  Bold. 

The  Beform  Bill,  which  became  law  in  1832,  gave 
Halifax  two  members  of  Parliament.  Except  for  the 
few  years  under  the  Commonwealth,  Halifax  had  never 
had  a  member.  Before  the  Beform  Act,  the  whole  of 
the  county  of  Yorkshire  was  one  undivided  constituency 
and  returned  four  members.  When  the  news  came  to 
Halifax,  one  of  the  largest  bonfires  ever  seen  was  lighted, 
and  the  town  was  crammed  with  people.  The  earlier 
drafts  of  the  bill  proposed  that  the  whole  of  the  Parish 
should  be  the  constituency,  but  the  Act  created  a 
Parliamentary  Borough  of  Halifax  which  included  the 
township  of  Halifax,  and  the  north-eastern  side  of  the 
valley,  from  Southowram  Bank  Top  to  New  Town  in 
Haley  Hill.  The  first  election  was  held  on  December 
1 2th  and  1 3th,  1832,  and  492  voted  out  of  a  possible 
536  entitled  to  a  vote.     The  two  candidates  in  favour  of 


the  Reform  Act  were  elected — Rawdon  Briggs,  a  Halifax 
banker  (242);  and  Charles  Wood  of  Doncaster  (235),  who 
was  son-in-law  to  the  Premier,  Earl  Grey,  and  who 
afterwards  became  Lord  Halifax.  The  unsuccessful  men 
were  Michael  Stocks,  a  local  man,  a  more  advanced 
reformer  (186);  and  the  Hon.  James  Stuart  Wortley 
(174),  son  of  Lord  Wharncliflfe,  who  was  opposed  to  the 
Eeform  Movement. 

Miss  Lister  was  on  the  losing  side,  although  she 
made  a  condition  that  all  her  tenants  must  vote  as  she 
directed,  and  as  the  Shibden  Hall  estates  were  large, 
Miss  Lister  reckoned  on  influencing  fifty  votes.  She 
was  very  candid  about  the  matter,  and  summed  up  the 
situation: — "The  populace,  not  the  property  of  our 
borough  is  represented,  but  this  caimot  last  for  ever." 
The  voting  was  in  public,  and  it  was  known  how  each 
man  had  voted.  To  possess  a  vote,  a  man  had  to 
occupy  a  house  or  some  other  property  worth  £10  a 
year,  which  meant  a  much  bigger  house  than  the  same 
rental  represents  to-day.  The  population  of  Halifax 
township  was  over  fifteen  thousand,  and  besides  there 
were  the  portions  of  Southowram  and  Northowram,  yet 
there  were  only  536  voters. 

The  Reform  Act  of  1832  did  not  satisfy  the  aspirations 
of  the  great  body  of  men.  It  was  but  one  step  in  the 
right  direction,  and  it  was  thought  that  if  the  House  of 
Commons  could  be  further  reformed,  the  grievances  of 
the  people  might  be  remedied.  The  People's  Charter 
therefore  became  the  great  hope  of  many  working  men. 
The  Chartists  demanded  a  vote  for  every  man,  whether 
he  had  property  or  not,  and  voting  by  ballot.  They 
wanted  a  Parliamentary  election  every  year,  payment  of 
members  of  Parliament,  and  each  voting  district  to  be 


equal  in  size.  On  Whit  Monday,  1839,  there  was  a 
great  Chartist  demonstration  at  Peep  Green,  near 
Hartsheadi  which  is  said  to  have  been  the  largest 
political  meeting  ever  held  in  England.  A  procession, 
headed  by  a  band  of  music,  started  from  Halifax, 
meeting  a  Queensbury  section  at  Hipperholme,  and  the 
Bradford  Chartists  on  the  hill-top  above  Bailiff  Bridge. 
William  Thornton  of  Skircoat  Green  opened  the  meeting 
with  prayer,  and  Fergus  O'Connor,  the  leader  of  the 
Chartists,  putting  his  hand  on  Thornton's  shoulder,  said 
"  Well  done,  Thornton,  when  we  get  .  the  People's 
Charter,  I  will  see  you  are  made  the  Archbishop  of 
York."  Soon  afterwards,  Thornton  went  to  America,  or 
he  would  have  been  imprisoned  for  taking  part  in  these 
meetings.  Some  of  the  Chartists  advised  a  general 
rising,  and  counselled  the  men  to  procure  guns,  pikes,  or 
other  weapons,  for  they  held  it  to  be  one  of  the  rights  of 
an  Englishman  to  possess  his  own  weapon. 

General  Charles  Napier  held  the  northern  command, 
and  it  was  his  duty  to  prevent  or  to  put  down  any 
rebellion.  He  was  a  very  humane  man,  full  of  sympathy 
for  the  Chartists,  for  he  felt  it  to  be  a  hard  thing  that  a 
good  workman  in  full  wages  must  starve.  He  was  very 
anxious  about  the  soldiers  who  had  been  sent  to  Halifax 
before  he  had  taken  the  commmand.  Napier  reported 
that  there  were  thirty-six  dragoons  among  the  ill- 
disposed  populace  of  Halifax,  with  a  man  in  a  billet  here 
and  his  horse  there.  He  said  that  fifty  resolute  men 
would  disarm  them  in  ten  minutes.  He  had  information 
that  such  a  plan  had  been  discussed  in  the  public-houses 
at  Halifax,  and  that  cheap  copies  of  Maceroni's  book  on 
the  use  of  the  pike  were  in  circulation.  Napier  worked 
hard  to  prevent  a  rising,  and  fortunately  averted  a 
civil  war. 


William  Milner,  a  Halifax  grocer  and  general  dealer, 
had  Chartist  sympathies.  He  set  to  work  to  provide 
working  men  with  cheap  editions  of  good  books.  The 
first  work  he  printed  was  the  pamphlet  by  John  Fielden, 
M.P.,  entitled  ''The  Curse  of  the  Factory  System," 
1836.  In  1837,  Milner  commenced  the  publication  of 
his  "Cottage  Library,"  and  for  many  years  these  books 
could  claim  to  be  the  cheapest  books  in  the  world. 
Milner  found  that  the  ordinary  booksellers  would  not 
take  his  cheap  books,  as  they  were  used  to  dealing  only 
in  expensive  volumes.  So,  like  the  Halifax  cloth-makers 
of  the  sixteenth  century,  he  tried  the  fairs  and  markets. 
In  some  of  the  markets,  he  sold  pots  along  with  his  little 
books.  He  fitted  caravans  up,  and  sent  his  men  all  over 
the  kingdom.  Robertson  NichoU  in  the  far  north  of 
Scotland,  Frankfort  Moore  in  Belfast,  and  many  other 
men  who  have  become  famous  have  testified  to  the  good 
they  received  in  their  youth  from  Milner's  cheap  editions 
of  the  English  poets.  At  one  time,  the  Chartist  news- 
paper "Northern  Star,"  edited  by  Fergus  O'Connor, 
was  forbidden  by  the  Government,  and  copies  were 
destroyed  if  they  were  found.  Milner  arranged  for  a 
hearse  containing  a  grim  black  cofiin  to  be  driven  from 
London  to  Halifax.  The  coffin  did  not  hold  the  remains 
of  some  devoted  Yorkshireman,  but  was  full  of  copies  of 
the  proscribed  newspaper.  On  its  return  journey  to 
London,  the  hearse  carried  a  few  hundred  volumes  of 
Milner's  cheap  reprints  as  ballast.  William  Milner  died 
in  1850,  aged  47. 

Within  three  years  of  the  Chartist  disturbance, 
there  was  another  rising  which  was  called  the  Plug 
Riots.  The  workers  left  their  spinning  or  weaving, 
stopped    the    mills,    and    marched    from   one    town    to 


another  in  Lancashire  and  Yorkshire,  stopping  all  work. 
At  steam  mills,  the  boiler  plugs  were  drawn  to  empty 
the  boilers,  and  all  the  mill  dams  were  emptied  where 
the  machinery  was  run  by  water-power.  Councillor 
Joseph  Greenwood  of  Hebden  Bridge,  in  his  boyhood, 
saw  these  plug  drawers  in  August,  1842.  The  following 
is  his  account  of  the  scenes: — 

"I  well  remember  seeing  the  crowd  coming  along 
the  turnpike  after  it  had  left  Hebden  Bridge ;  it  was  a 
remarkably  fine  day;  the  sun  shone  in  its  full  splendour. 
The  broad  white  road  with  its  green  hedges,  and  flanked 
one  side  with  high  trees,  was  filled  with  a  long,  black, 
straggling  line  of  people,  who  cheerfully  went  along, 
evidently  possessed  of  an  idea  that  they  were  doing 
something  towards  a  betterment.  A  number  of  us  boys 
had  been  sent  down  into  the  woods  to  gather  black- 
berries, and  the  woods  were  then  clad  in  deep  green  ; 
blackberries  were  plentiful,  now  they  do  not  grow  to 
maturity  because  of  the  smoke.  The  people  went  along 
over  Fallingroyd  Bridge  towards  Hawksclough.  On 
reaching  there,  a  local  leader  of  the  Chartist  movement, 
Ben  Rushton,  stepped  aside  into  a  field,  and  led  off  with 
a  speech.  A  number  of  those  who  were  among  the  mass 
of  the  strikers,  in  going  on  their  way,  left  the  procession, 
w^ent  into  the  dwellings  and  helped  themselves  to  what- 
ever they  could  find  in  the  way  of  food.  Ben  Bushton, 
I  believe,  was  not  one  of  these,  nor  were  those  that  were 
with  him.  However,  they  were  weary  and  thirsty,  and 
before  the  speaking,  a  big  milk  can  was  obtained  and 
filled  with  treacle  beer,  only  the  liquor  had  not  been 
charged  with  yeast,  nor  had  it  had  time  to  get  fresh  and 
tart.  After  the  speaking  the  procession  re-started  and 
went    on   as   before,   and    on    to    Halifax,   where    other 


contingents  from  Yorkshire  had  gathered.  Attempts 
were  made  to  join  these,  but  for  a  time  were  prevented 
by  the  police.  The  streets  became  blocked,  and  it  was 
said  there  were  25,000  women  and  men  there.  They 
were  poorly  clad,  and  many  were  without  shoes  and 
stockings,  barefooted.  The  disorder  became  so  violent 
that  the  Eiot  Act  was  read,  special  constables  sworn  in, 
and  the  military  called  out.  The  women  took  up 
positions  facing  the  police  and  the  soldiers,  and  dared 
them  to  kill  them.  Many  people  were  trampled  under 
the  horses'  feet,  and  many  people  were  injured." 

Another  eye-witness's  account  says  that  on  August 
15th,  news  came  that  thousands  were  marching  from 
Bradford  to  stop  the  Halifax  mills.  Coming  down  New 
Bank,  they  were  stopped  just  above  Berry's  Foundry  by 
the  special  constables  and  soldiers,  with  bayonets  fixed 
and  swords  drawn.  The  Biot  Act  was  read,  and  the 
crowd  told  that  they  must  not  enter  the  town.  The 
rioters  got  over  the  walls  into  the  fields,  and  went 
through  the  fields  on  the  top  side  of  Northgate.  The 
day  ended  with  a  large  meeting  on  Skircoat  Moor,  where 
some  of  the  men  were  arrested,  and  committed  to 
Wakefield  Prison.  The  prisoners  were  taken  in  a  bus 
to  Elland,  the  nearest  railway  station,  guarded  by  an 
escort  of  horse  soldiers.  When  this  became  known, 
thousands  of  people  armed  with  stones,  gathered  at 
Salterhebble  and  Elland  Wood  Bottom,  waiting  for  the 
soldiers'  return.  They  came  back  over  Exley,  but  rode 
into  the  crowd  at  Salterhebble.  The  cavalry  started  at 
full  speed  up  Salterhebble  Hill  amid  a  shower  of  stones. 
One  or  two  were  knocked  from  their  horses,  and  one 
soldier  received  such  injuries  that  he  died.  The  infantry 
came  to  meet  the  horse  soldiers  at  Shaw  Hill,  and  they 
all  returned  to  Halifax.      They  next  marched  up  Haley 


Hill  to  Akroyd's  Shed,  and  firing  into  the  mob,  they 
wounded  several  and  killed  one  man.  Another  man  in 
King  Street,  opening  his  door  to  see  what  was  the 
matter,  was  shot  dead. 

John  Bright  and  Richard  Cobden,  two  Lancashire 
manufacturers,  set  to  work  to  abate  the  prevalent  distress, 
from  another  side.  England  was  not  growing  sufficient 
corn  to  feed  her  own  people,  but  foreign  corn  w^as  not 
allowed  to  come  into  our  ports  unless  a  heavy  duty  was 
paid  on  it.  Consequently  corn  was  always  at  a  high 
price.  Bread  and  flour  were  dear,  and  the  poorer  people 
could  not  get  sufficient  to  eat.  In  September,  1841, 
Mrs.  Bright  died,  and  Cobden  visited  Bright  to  condole 
with  him.  After  a  time,  Cobden  looked  up  and  said 
"  There  are  thousands  of  houses  in  England  at  this 
moment,  where  wives,  mothers,  and  children  are  dying 
of  hunger."  The  two  men,  then  and  there,  vowed  they 
would  work  until  the  Corn  Laws  were  repealed.  The 
movement  was  taken  up  enthusiastically  by  the  manu- 
facturing towns  of  Lancashire  and  Yorkshire ;  the  corn 
laws  were  repealed,  Free  Trade  was  instituted,  and  the 
mills  became  very  busy.  The  whole  agitation  had  relied 
on  argument  and  reason,  and  no  hint  of  violence  was 
ever  mentioned.  This  in  itself  was  a  great  forward  step. 
Another  noteworthy  point  was  that  the  policy  of 
England  was,  for  the  first  time,  framed  by  the  industrial 
population  of  the  North. 

"Turnpikes  and  Toll-bars,"  by  C.  Clegg.         (Hx.  Antqn.  Soc.  Trans.,  1915). 
"The  Carse  of  the  Factory  System,"  by  J.  Fielden,  M.P.     (1836). 
"The  Town  Labourer,  1760-1832." 
"The  Skilled  Labourer,  1760-1832." 

By  J.  L.  &  B.  Hammond. 
"The  Risings  of  the  Luddites,  Chartists,  and  Plug-drawers,"  by  Frank  Peel. 
"The  Chartist  Movement,"  by  Mark  Hovell. 

"Life  and  Opinions  of  General  Sir  C.  J.  Napier,  Vol.  II.,"  by  Sir  W.  Napier. 
"William  Milner  of  Halitax — A  Pioneer  in  Cheap  Literature,"  by  H.  E. 

Wroot.     ("Bookman,  1897"— Also  see  "  Hx.  Guardian  "  Almanack,  1898). 
"Struggles  of  an  Old  Chartist,"  (1887)  by  Benj.  Wilson  of  Salterhebble. 





PARK WAINHOUSE     TOWER  —  F.    J.    SHIELDS  —  P.    G.    HAMERTON 

THE    people's    park. 

In  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century 
Bradford  took  the  place  of  Halifax  as  the  centre 
of  the  West  Riding  worsted  trade.  This  was  partly 
due  to  the  fact  that  Halifax  manufacturers  did 
not  take  readily  to  the  factory  system ;  partly  because 
of  our  nearness  to  Lancashire,  there  were  more  cotton 
than  worsted  mills  in  the  parish  ;  and  partly,  because 
the  hills  hindered  communication  with  the  outside 
world.  However,  from  about  1840,  Halifax  received  a 
new  impetus  to  growth  from  the  two  great  firms  of 
Akroyds  and  Crossleys.  We  have  already  seen  how 
the  Akroyds  conducted  their  business  before  the  days  of 
the  factories.  They  built  a  mill  at  Brookhouse,  (now  in 
ruins)  run  at  first  by  a  water-wheel,  and  later  by  steam. 
As  their  business  grew,  they  found  that  Brookhouse  was 
an  out-of-the-way  place  for  a  big  mill,  so  they  came 
farther  down  the  valley,  and  built  gigantic  places  at 
Old  Lane,  Bowling  Dyke,  and  in  Haley  Hill,  with  a 
huge  warehouse  and  offices  between  Akroyd  Place  and 
Northgate.  Akroyds  developed  into  one  of  the  largest 
worsted  manufacturing  firms  in  the  kingdom,  and 
specialised  in  damasks  and  other  fancy  fabrics. 

Crossleys  built  up  their  Dean  Clough  Mills  from 
very  small  beginnings.  John  Crossley  was  a  carpet 
weaver  for  Currie  at  Luddenden  Foot,  and  he  became 
manager  of  Job  Lee's  carpet  works  in  the  Lower  George 
Yard  about    1800.        Four  years  later,   Lee  died   very 


suddenly,  and  John  Crossley  went  into  partnership  with 
two  others  to  carry  on  the  business.  Not  long  after- 
wards, John  Crossley,  with  another  two  partners,  took  a 
small  mill  at  Dean  Clough,  and  after  twenty  years 
trading  there  was  £4,200  to  divide  among  the  three. 
The  mill  then  became  his  sole  property,  and  as  his  sons, 
John,  Joseph,  and  Francis  grew  up,  he  took  them  into 
partnership.  John  Grossiey,  senior,  died  in  1837,  before 
the  works  had  become  famous.  About  this  time, 
machine  looms  were  being  introduced  for  weaving,  and 
the  younger  Crossley s  turned  their  attention  to  the 
invention  of  a  power-loom  that  would  weave  carpets, 
and  at  length  they  succeeded  in  making  a  practical 
loom.  After  this.  Dean  Clough  Mills  increased  at  a 
rapid  rate. 

One  of  the  problems  that  confronted  these  manu- 
facturers was  to  get  the  new  railways  to  Halifax.  The 
first  line  to  come  near  the  town  was  the  Manchester 
and  Leeds  Railway.  Its  route  was  down  the  Calder 
Valley,  and  Leeds  was  reached  through  Normanton. 
So  that  in  1842,  passengers  from  Manchester  had  to 
alight  at  Sowerby  Bridge,  and  take  an  omnibus  to 
Halifax  ;  Brighouse  was  the  nearest  station  to  Bradford, 
and  Cooper  Bridge  was  the  station  for  Huddersfield. 
In  July,  1844,  the  branch  line  from  North  Dean  to 
Halifax  was  opened,  and  the  first  locomotive  steamed 
into  the  town.  The  station  was  at  Shaw  Syke  and  it 
was  a  terminus,  for  a  few  more  years  elapsed  before  the 
line  was  made  to  Bradford.  It  was  not  until  August 
1st,  1854,  that  the  line  to  Leeds,  via  Bowling,  was 
completed.  The  Ovenden  Railway  to  Queensbury  and 
Keighley,  was  only  finished  in  1879.  The  early  railways 
were  made  in  a  piece-meal  fashion,  as  the  turnpike  roads 


had  been,  and  not  with  a  broad  outlook.  The  Great 
Northern  and  Midland  Companies  were  jealous  rivals, 
and  spent  much  of  their  energies  in  opposing  each 
other's  schemes.  Both  Crossleys  and  Akroyds  were 
keenly  interested  in  railway  development,  for  Halifax 
was  handicapped  because  of  its  indifferent  railway 

The  town  grew  tremendously  during  the  first  half 
of  the  nineteenth  century.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
century,  the  houses  and  shops  on  Northgate  extended 
no  farther  than  Northgate  End  Chapel.  Northgate 
Hotel,  when  it  was  converted  from  a  residence  into  an 
inn,  was  said  to  be  too  far  out  of  the  town  to' succeed. 
The  Baptist  Chapel  at  the  bottom  of  Pellon  Lane  was 
called  '*Top  o'  t'  Town  Chapel."  King  Cross  Lane, 
Hopwood  Lane,  Gibbet  Lane,  and  the  other  main  roads 
of  the  upper  part  of  Halifax  were  really  lanes  with  fields 
on  either  hand,  though  they  do  not  look  in  the  least  like 
lanes  to-day.  James  Bolton,  a  famous  botanist,  who 
lived  at  Stannary,  7iear  Halifax  at  the  end  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  collected  ferns  and  fungi  about  Lee 
Bridge,  in  the  woods  between  Birks  Hall  and  Pellon 
Lane,  and  in  Cross  Fields.  This  gives  some  idea  how 
different  a  place  Halifax  was  from  the  town  we  know, 
for  there  were  gardens  and  fields  behind  the  Crown 
Street  shops,  and  between  the  Parish  Church  and  the 
brook.  Some  new  groups  of  houses  were  built  in  the 
higher  part  of  the  township,  and  named  after  famous 
victories  of  the  time — Trafalgar,  Dunkirk,  and  Gibraltar. 
As  Akroyds  and  Crossleys  gradually  filled  the  valley 
above  North  Bridge  with  big  mills,  and  as  Shaw  Lodge 
Mills  and  others  were  erected,  more  houses  were  required 
for  the  workpeople.      Many  dwellings  were  built  on  the 


other  side  of  the  stream,  at  Lee  Bank,  Haley  Hill, 
Southowram  Bank,  and  Caddy  Field.  Edward  Akroyd 
said  in  1847,  that  Halifax  had  become  like  a  growing 
lad,  thrusting  his  arms  beyond  his  sleeves,  and  his  legs 
out  of  his  trousers,  putting  out  an  arm  at  Haley  Hill, 
and  a  leg  at  Caddy  Field.  The  land  near  North  Bridge 
was  a  very  convenient  site  for  dwellings  for  the  work- 
people. Such  a  plot  of  land,  divided  into  gardens,  and 
known  as  "The  Park"  was  sold  by  auction  in  1808. 
On  it  were  erected  rows  of  houses  which  still  bear  the 
names  of  Park  Street  and  Grove  Street.  Mount 
Pleasant,  adjacent  to  Dean  Clough,  was  opened  out 
and  at  first  called  Go  Ahead.  Its  streets  are  named 
after  the  Corn  Law  Repeal  heroes — Bright,  Cobden, 
Fitzwilliam,  Wilson,  etc.  West  Hill  Park,  formerly 
famed  for  foot-races,  was  developed  as  a  model  estate. 
Its  terraces  were  named  Cromwell,  Milton,  Hampden, 
because  these  seventeenth  century  heroes  were  favourites 
of  the  men  who  built  these  houses.  Edward  Akroyd 
devoted  much  thought  and  money  to  the  laying  out  of  a 
"garden  city"  near  Boothtown,  which  was  afterwards 
known  as  Akroydon.  The  names  of  the  streets  reveal 
his  interest  in  the  great  cathedrals — Chester,  York, 
Bipon,  Beverley,  Salisbury.  The  houses  are  more 
ornamental  than  ordinary  ones ;  gardens  were  provided 
and  a  little  park.  At  the  bottom  end  of  the  town,  the 
ground  was  overcrowded  with  small,  miserable  houses,  a 
large  proportion  of  which  were  cleared  away  before  the 
end  of  the  century. 

There  is  a  little  feature  about  the  houses  of  fifty  or 
more  years  ago  that  is  worth  noticing.  Near  to  the 
house  door,  close  to  the  ground,  is  a  small  recess  where 
there  was  once  a  scraper.       In  most  cases,  the  iron  bar 



has  rusted  away,  and  a  little  useless  hollow  remains. 
They  can  be  seen  for  example  in  Lister  Lane,  Crossley 
Terrace,  or  Westgate.  When  the  houses  were  built, 
everyone  had  to  scrape  the  thick  mud  oft'  his  boots 
before  he  entered,  because  the  streets  were  very  filthy, 
as  they  were  un-paved  and  seldom  swept.  Even  so  late 
as  1872,  the  newspapers  recording  the  funeral  of  Sir 
Francis   Crossley,   mention   the   fact   that  many   of  the 


Fig.  89.— Door  Scraper. 


elderly  gentlemen  could  not  walk  in  the  procession, 
because  of  the  dirty  condition  of  the  roads  between  the 
town  and  the  General  Cemetery.  We  can  scarcely 
imagine  the  unhealthy  and  insanitary  condition  of  the 
town  in  the  forties.  To  remedy  the  bad  state  of  affairs, 
the  borough  was  incorporated  in  1848,  and  the  Town 
Council  elected  by  the  ratepayers  sought  powers  to 
better  the  sanitation  and  the  water  supply,  and  to  clean 
the  streets.  It  was  a  heavy  task.  There  was  very 
much  disease,  and  a  terribly  high  death-rate.      Fevers 


often  raged  in  the  houses  at  the  bottom  end  of  the 
town,  and  many  lives  were  lost  that  ought  to  have 
been  saved.  The  new  Municipal  Borough  of  Halifax 
included  the  old  township  of  Halifax,  and  those  small 
portions  of  Northowram  and  Southowram  that  were  in 
the  Parliamentary  Borough. 

Water  was  so  scarce  that  one  alderman  said  that 
people  told  him  they  had  to  steal  it.  About  eight 
hundred  people  depended  on  a  dropping- well  near  Berry 
Lane.  This  water  came  from  a  spring  in  the  cellar  of 
the  Cat  in  the  Window  Inn,  about  seven  yards  from  the 
Parish  Church  graveyard,  and  thence  flowed,  close  to  a 
main  sewer,  to  the  dropping  place  by  the  bridge. 
Sewage  and  the  washings  of  barrels  often  soaked  into 
the  well.  Many  people  had  to  go  half-a-mile  for  water, 
and  some  declared  they  were  not  able  to  get  their 
breakfast  until  after  mid-day  for  want  of  water.  Others 
were  up  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning  to  be  first  at  the 
well,  and  women  often  wasted  three  and  four  hours  a 
day  fetching  water.  In  1848,  the  Victoria  Reservoir  in 
Gibbet  Lane  was  made  to  find  work  for  a  large  number 
of  men  who  were  thrown  out  of  employment  by  the  new 
textile  machinery.  They  were  paid  a  shilling  a  day  for 
six  hours  work.  As  the  town  grew,  the  Corporation 
had  to  look  farther  afield  for  the  water  supply. 
Fortunately  the  hills  to  the  north  and  west  of  Halifax 
are  covered  with  peat  moors,  which  act  like  enormous 
sponges  in  retaining  a  considerable  portion  of  the  rain- 
fall that  the  westerly  wind  brings  over.  The  reservoirs 
at  Ogden,  Widdop,  Walshaw  Dean,  Fly  Flatts,  etc., 
provide  us  with  a  bountiful  supply  of  good  water. 
When  the  Corporation  was  formed,  the  sewers  of  the 
town  were  disgraceful.     Behind  Cheaypside,  for  instance, 



there  was  an  open  drain.  In  rainy  weather,  a  stream 
flowed  down  and  the  houses  emptied  all  their  filth  and 
rubbish  into  the  stream.  The  drains  that  were  made 
were  either  cut  through  the  solid  rock,  or  else  made 
square  and  lined  with  stones.  In  either  case,  the 
sewage  leaked  through  the  cracks  and  oozed  up  in  all 
kinds  of   places.       A  heavy   thunderstorm   choked   the 

Fig.  90.— Drinking  Trough  for  Man  or  Beast. 
(The  old  method  of  water  supply.) 

drains  and  filled  cellars  and  houses  with  a  flood  of 
sewage.  The  Corporation  made  a  new  system  of  drains 
and  sewers,  and  though  it  was  an  expensive  undertaking, 
it  made  the  town  a  much  healthier  place  to  live  in. 
Gradually  the  streets  were  paved,  foot-paths  were  made, 
the  roads  drained,  swept,  and  kept  sweet  and  clean. 
The  health  of  the  people  is  the  first  consideration  of  the 


Corporation,  but  many  other  duties  have  been  added  to 
its  programme.  Our  Aldermen  and  Councillors  have 
charge  of  the  markets  and  slaughter-houses,  and  keep 
watch  over  the  purity  of  our  food.  They  organise  the 
police  force,  keep  the  parks  in  order,  and  provide  new 
open  spaces  when  required.  They  are  responsible  for 
the  education  of  our  boys  and  girls,  and  for  the  upkeep 
of  libraries  and  museums.  They  run  the  electric  cars, 
and  do  many  more  useful  things.  The  Town  Council  is 
simply  a  committee  elected  to  do  work  for  the  whole  of 
the  people,  and  as  there  are  so  many  activities  that  can 
be  better  managed  if  we  all  work  together,  the  work  of 
the  Council  is  likely  to  grow  vaster  in  the  future. 

We  have  considered  how  the  Crossleys  and  Akroyds 
laid  the  foundations  of  their  businesses  and  their 
fortunes,  and  how  much  they  contributed  to  the  growth 
of  modern  Halifax.  They  were  the  leaders  in  local 
public  life  while  Halifax  was  setting  its  house  in  order, 
and  as  Members  of  Parliament,  they  voiced  the  aspira- 
tions of  the  North  in  the  reformed  House  of  Commons. 
Beyond  all  this,  their  princely  gifts  to  their  native  town 
have  made  the  names,  Akroyd  and  Crossley,  the 
brightest  in  the  story  of  the  nineteenth  century,  nay!  of 
many  centuries.  Edward  Akroyd,  John,  Joseph,  and 
Francis  Crossley,  were  four  men  who  have  inscribed 
their  names  in  beautiful  characters  across  the  map  of 
Halifax,  and  we  cannot  walk  far  without  coming  across 
some  monument  of  their  planning  and  generosity.  The 
Orphanage  on  Savile  Park,  the  Almshouses  on  Arden 
Koad  and  on  Margaret  Street,  were  erected  and  endowed 
by  the  Crossley  brothers.  Sir  Francis  Crossley  gave 
the  People's  Park  and  Halifax  was  one  of  the  earliest, 
among  the   large   towns,   to   have   such   a   j)ublic    park. 



The  Crossleys  were  the  principal  contributors  to  the 
building  of  the  handsome  Square  Congregational  Church. 
Edward  Akroyd  spent  a  fortune  on  All  Souls'  Church, 
which  is  one  of  the  finest  modern  gothic  churches^  and  is 
considered  the  masterpiece  of  the  famous  architect,  Sir 
Gilbert  Scott.  Akroyd  planned  Akroydon  as  a  model 
suburb,  and  built  Copley  as  a  model  village.  Akroydon 
and  Copley  had  their  flower  shows,  and  gardening 
(which  was  not  a  common  art  in  Halifax)  was 
encouraged.  Edward  Akroyd  was  keenly  interested  in 
education  and  the  Working  Men's  College  at  Haley 
Hill,  and  the  various  classes  in  connection  with  it 
provided  an  education  that  was  a  blessing  to  many 
Halifax  men.  Edward  Akroyd  was  an  enthusiastic 
supporter  of  the  Volunteers,  and  he  became  colonel  of 
the  local  battalion,  hence  he  is  usually  referred  to  as 
Colonel  Akroyd.  He  was  also  a  pioneer  in  savings 
banks,  and  the  Yorkshire  Penny  Bank  was  founded 
years  before  the  government  instituted  the  Post  Office 
Savings  Bank.  His  inspiration  for  that  piece  of  work 
came  from  a  sermon  he  heard  by  Charles  Kingsley  (the 
author  of  "Westward  Ho!"  "Alton  Locke,"  etc.) 
There  is  a  statue  of  Sir  Francis  Crossley  in  the 
People's  Park,  and  one  of  Colonel  Akroyd  close  to  All 
Souls'  Church.  Our  libraries  and  museums  are  housed 
in  mansions  that  were  once  the  homes  of  these  men,  and 
their    gardens  are  now  our   parks. 

The  Borough  of  Halifax  gradually  extended  its  area, 
and  in  1864  the  Town  Council  contemplated  pushing  the 
boundary  line  beyond  the  little  valley  that  runs  from 
Haugh  Shaw  to  Shaw  Syke.  The  township  of  Skircoat 
was  interested  about  the  future  of  Skircoat  Moor,  and  the 
Freeholders  elected  a  committee  to  watch  their  interests. 


These  landowners  had  the  right  to  use  the  common  for 
pasturing  their  cattle,  sheep,  or  donkeys,  and  it  was 
contended  that  the  lord  of  the  manor  could  not  dispose 
of  the  moor  without  their  consent.  Skircoat  Moor  has 
survived  as  an  unenclosed  common,  and  somehow 
escaped  the  various  methods  of  enclosure  that  we  have 
noted  in  this  story.  Some  members  of  the  Corporation 
wished  to  plant  trees,  to  make  walks  and  other  alter- 
ations, while  some  went  so  far  as  to  suggest  building  a 
wall  around  the  moor.  However,  the  Freeholders  of 
Skircoat  stood  out  against  these  alterations,  and  even 
went  to  law  before  the  Corporation  would  submit  that 
Skircoat  Moor  should  remain  unenclosed  for  the  benefit 
of  the  pubhc  for  ever. 

The  Freeholders  received  the  nominal  sum  of  £201 
for  their  rights.  After  they  had  paid  their  solicitor's 
costs  the  balance  was  put  into  the  bank,  and  in  1889 
this  balance,  which  with  interest  had  become  £264  10s.  2d., 
was  given  to  the  building  fund  of  the  new  Infirmary. 
Capt.  Henry  Savile,  of  Rufibrd  Abbey,  accepted  the 
nominal  sum  of  £100  for  his  rights,  and  as  a  memorial 
of  his  great  generosity,  Skircoat  Moor  was  named  Savile 
Park.  It  was  estimated  that  the  Moor  was  then 
worth  £40,000.  But  its  monetary  value  is  not  every- 
thing ;  as  a  recreation  ground  and  an  open  space,  Savile 
Park  is  a  priceless  possession  of  the  town.  Captain 
Savile  made  one  condition,  or  expressed  the  wish,  that 
the  Council  would  do  all  in  its  power  to  abate  the  smoke 
nuisance.  We  still  have  a  smoke-polluted  atmosphere, 
though  older  people  tell  us  it  was  worse  forty  or  fifty 
years  ago. 

The    mention    of    smoke    introduces    us    to    J.    E. 
Wainhouse,    an   enthusiastic   member   of    the    Skircoat 


Freeholders  committee,  who  wrote  many  letters 
explaming  their  ancient  right  to  the  commons.  His 
monument  is  the  Octagon  Tower,  and  as  it  overlooks 
the  Moor,  it  is  only  fitting  that  we  should  notice  the 
Tower  and  its  builder.  Wainhouse  owned  the  Washer 
Lane  Dyeworks,  and  in  order  to  abate  the  smoke 
nuisance  he  determined  to  erect  a  tall  chimney  on  the 
hill-side  above  Washer  Lane.  He  had  a  passion  for 
good  architecture,  and  he  commissioned  his  architect  to 
build  him  a  beautiful  mill  chimney,  for  the  existing  tall 
chimney  stacks  were  considered  to  be  the  ugliest  things 
ever  built.  The  result  was  a  chimney  and  tower 
combined.  In  the  centre  is  the  chimney  flue,  and 
around  the  flue  a  spiral  staircase  within  the  octagon 
tower  leads  up  to  a  handsome  balcony,  while  the  whole 
is  crowned  by  an  elaborate  dome.  Some  authorities 
have  deemed  it  to  be  the  finest  piece  of  architecture  in 
Halifax.  It  is  certainly  a  striking  landmark.  The 
Tower  was  also  nicknamed  "  Wainhouse's  Folly "  by 
people  who  could  not  appreciate  a  thing  of  beauty,  but 
who  thought  it  a  waste  of  money.  Wainhouse  sold  the 
dyeworks  before  his  tower  was  completed,  and  so  the 
Octagon  Tower  was  never  used  as  a  chimney.  He  also 
built  some  handsome  houses  about  Washer  Lane,  and 
embellished  rows  of  ordinary  cottages  with  fine  porches, 
chimneys,  and  railings.  Wainhouse  Terrace,  tucked  out 
of  sight  between  the  Burnley  and  Rochdale  Roads,  is  a 
remarkable  row.  They  are  only  "gallery"  houses,  but 
the  gallery  is  of  such  architectural  character  that  it 
would  grace  any  university  building. 

Though  smoke  has  spoiled  much  of  our  country-side, 
and  modern  industry  made  ugly  blots  upon  it,  we  are 
never  very  far  from  wild  and  unspoiled  hills.      Halifax 



is  the  most  westerly  of  the  great  West  Riding  towns, 
and  further  to  the  west  are  the  fine  moors  and  beautiful 
doughs  of  the  Pennines.  Let  me  tell  you  of  two  men — 
fcwo  artists — who  have  acknowledged  the  debt  they 
owed  to  the  moorlands  of  Halifax  Parish.  Frederic 
Shields,  who  was  born  very  poor,  had  a  hard  struggle  to 
become  a  painter.  His  earliest  encouragement  came 
when  Stott,  an  engraver  in  Swine  Market,  offered  him  a 
post  at  fifty  shillings  a  week.  Shields  only  stayed  in 
Halifax  about  a  year  (1856),  lodging  at  No.  9,  Brunswick 
Street.  Shields  was  a  very  early  riser,  and  took  long 
walks  to  make  sketches,  before  he  went  to .  his  day's 
work.      His  own  tribute  to  our  hills  is: — 

*'It  made  me  free  of  the  invigorating  air  of  the 
Yorkshire  moors,  which  greatly  recruited  my  enfeebled 
health  during  a  year's  sojourn.  Shut  up  hereunto  in  the 
narrowness  of  big  cities,  I  recall  the  dancing  delight 
excited  in  my  heart  by  the  first  sight  of  wide-spread 
hill  and  dale  from  the  crest  of  a  moorland  rise  !  " 

In  the  same  year,  Philip  Gilbert  Hamerton,  who 
became  a  famous  art  critic,  was  living  within  our  parish. 
Hamerton  was  then  twenty-two  years  old,  a  year 
younger  than  Shields,  but  he  was  better  oif  than  Shields 
and  had  a  comfortable  home  near  Burnley.  In  order  to 
study  rocks  and  heather,  he  camped  near  VViddop  in 
1856,  and  has  written  about  his  experiences  in  a  book 
entitled  "The  Painter's  Camp,"  and  also  in  his  Auto- 
biography. Here  again  we  are  fortunate  in  having 
Hamerton's  own  words  about  Widdop  moors: — 

"That  month  of  solitude  on  the  wild  hills  was  a 
singularly  happy  time,  so  happy  that  it  is  not  easy, 
without  some  reflection,  to  account  for  such  a  degree  of 
felicity.        I  was   young,  and    the    brisk   mountain    air 

THE  MOORS.  271 

exhilarated  me.  I  walked  out  every  day  on  the 
heather,  which  I  loved  as  if  my  father  and  mother  had 
been  a  brace  of  grouse  ....  how  is  it  possible  to  feel 
otherwise  than  cheerful  when  you  have  leagues  of 
fragrant  heather  all  around  you,  and  blue  Yorkshire 
hills  on  the  high  and  far  horizon? ...  A  noteworthy  effect 
of  the  months  on  the  moors,  was  that  on  returning  to 
Hollins,  which  was  situated  amongst  trim  green  pastures 
and  plantations,  everything  seemed  so  astonishingly 
artificial.  It  came  with  the  force  of  a  discovery.  From 
that  day  to  this,  the  natural  and  the  artificial  in  land- 
scape have  been  for  me  as  clearly  distinguished  as  a 
wild  boar  from  a  domestic  pig.  My  strong  preference 
was,  and  still  is,  for  wild  nature." 

In  that  same  year,  1856,  the  People's  Park  was  laid 
out.  The  idea  of  such  a  park  had  come  to  Sir  Francis 
Crossley  while  on  an  American  tour.  Being  entranced 
with  a  magnificent  sunset  vi'ew  near  Mount  Washington, 
his  thoughts  of  gratitude  took  this  form: — "It  is  true 
thou  canst  not  bring  the  many  thousands  thou  has  left 
in  thy  native  country  to  see  this,  beautiful  scenery,  but 
thou  canst  take  this  to  them.  It  is  possible  so  to 
arrange  art  and  nature  that  they  shall  be  within  the 
walk  of  every  working  man  in  Halifax ;  that  he  shall  go 
to  take  his  stroll  there  after  he  has  done  his  hard  day's 
toil,  and  be  able  to  get  home  again  without  being  tired." 
There  is  no  hint  here,  of  the  genuine  mountain  scenery 
that  lies  within  a  few  miles  of  Halifax,  nor  any  feeling 
of  the  difference  between  artificial  and  natural  landscape, 
that  Shields  and  Hamerton  knew.  Seventy  years  ago, 
the  working-man  had  to  toil  so  hard,  and  had  such  little 
leisure,  not  even  half-holiday  on  Saturday,  that  he  had 
not  the  opportunity  to  roam  over  the  moors.     *  Trains 


and  trams  enable  us  to  reach  easily  the  uttermost 
recesses  of  our  hills.  We  can  sing  with  Emily  Bronte, 
the  words  she  wrote  at  Law  Hill,  Southowram: — 

**  Awaken,  o'er  all  my  dear  moorland, 
West- wind,  in  thy  glory  and  pride  ; 
Oh  !  call  me  from  valley  and  lowland, 
To  walk  by  the  hill-torrent's  side." 

I  do  hope  that  this  little  book  will  help  you  to  love 
your  own  country  more,  remembering  these  words  of  a 
good  man: — *'  For  the  England  that  I  love  is  not  merely 
the  England  of  noble  towns  and  the  fair  country-side, 
but  the  England  of  the  spirit,  the  foremost  of  all 
countries  in  which  a  man  may  enjoy  the  uses  of. his  soul." 

"Fortunes  made  in  Business,"  Vol.  III. — "The  Crossleys  of  Halifax." 

"Report  on  the  Sanitary  Condition  of  Halifax,"  by  W.  Ranger. 
(April  16th,  1851). 

"  History  of  Skircoat  Moor  and  Savile  Park,"  (1908)  by  C.  T.  Rhodes. 

"Toilers  in  Art,  Chap.  VII.— Frederic  Shields,  an  Autobiography." 

"  The  Life  and  Lettersof  Frederic  Shields,"  (1912). 

Edited  by  Ernestine  Mills. 
"  The  Painter's  Camp,"  by  P.  G.  Hamerton. 

"Philip  Gilbert  Hamerton." 

An  Autobiography  and  a  Memoir  by  his  wife,  (1897). 


Agriculture,    i8,   87,   207-8,   233. 

Ainley  Wood,  42. 

Aire  Gap,  161. 

Aire,  River,  221. 

Akroyd,    19,   48,   49,  239,  251.  257, 

258.  265. 
Akroyd,  Edward,  261. 
Akroyd,  James,  201,  240. 
Akroyd,  Jonathan,  201,  204-5. 
Akroydon,  261. 
Akroyd  Place,  258. 
Alice  of  the  Croft,  25,  66. 
All  Souls'  Church,  266. 
Allan  Fold,  Warley  Road,  129. 
Allen,  Isaac,   168. 
Almondbury,   102. 
Almshouses,  134,  135,  265. 
Alte,  Mr.,  153. 

Ambler  :    "  Manor  Houses  of  York- 
shire," 125. 
Ambler  Thorn  :    Toll  Bar,  225. 
Architecture  :      All  Souls'   Church, 

Architecture  :  1 7th  Century  Houses, 

1 13-136. 
Architecture  :   Eighteenth  Century, 

Architecture  :    Timber  Houses,  .57. 
Architecture  :    Wainhouse's  Tower, 

Architecture,  See  also  under  Parish 

Arkwright  of  Preston,  236. 
Armada,  102-3,  io5- 
Ashday,  Southowram,  16. 
Ashday,  William  of,  27. 
Ashwell.  Agnes,  26. 
Ashworth,  Cornelius,  204-8. 
Aske,  Richard,  86. 
Aske,  Robert,  97-8. 
Austwick,  204. 

Back    Hall,    Siddal,    16,    1 19-120, 

Bailey  Hall,  222,  224. 
Bailiff  Bridge,  148,  253. 

Baines,  John,  245,  248,  249. 
Bairstow,  56,  139. 
Ball  Green,  Sowerby,  128. 
Bank,  Post  Office  Savings,  266. 
Bank,  Yorkshire  Penny,  266. 
Bankfield   Museum.    53,    124,    127, 

152,   189,  204,  211.  239,  266. 
Bank    House,     Salterhebble,     134, 

Barkisland,  17,  123. 
Barkisland  Hall,  118,  121,  163. 
Barraclough,   139. 
Barrowclough  Lane,  54,  56. 
Bateson,  Richard,  48. 
Baths  at  Lilly  Bridge,  209. 
Batley,  144. 
Baume,  Isaac,  142. 
Beacon,  53,  56,  140. 
Beacon  Hill,  16,  102,  148,  195,  206. 

Beacon  Hill  Road,  53. 
Beaumont,  Sir  Robert,  39.  40.  4i» 

Beaumont  Town,  220. 
Becket,  Thomas  a,  34. 
Bell  House,  190,  196. 
Belle  Vue,  266. 
Bentley,  Anthony,  138. 
Bentley,  Eli,  172. 
Bentley,  Jeremy,  165. 
Bentley,  Lawrence,  Constable,  72. 
Bentley,  Samuel,  Well  Head,  165. 
Bingley,  200. 
Binns,   139. 

Binns  Hole  Clough,  159. 
Bin  Royd,  Norland,  117,  123,  124. 
Bird-holme,  208. 
Birks  Hall,  16,  260. 
Birks  :    Tree  Cutting,  72. 
Black  Death,  44-46. 
Blackledge,  17,  76,  86. 
Blackpool,  231. 
Blackshaw  Head,  219,  227. 
Blackstone  Edge,  102,  149.   153-4. 

179,  227. 
Blackwell  Hall,  Halifax,  177. 



Blackwell  Hall,  London,  177. 
Blackwood,  Thomas  of  Blackwood 

House,  138. 
Blaithroyd,  16. 
Blake,  Admiral,  162. 
""  Blind  Jack,"  roadmaker,  228-9. 
Bloody  Field,  152,  158. 
Bluecoat  School,  135. 
Boat  Horse  versus  Pack  Horses,  223. 
Bois,   John,    109. 
Bold,  Peter,  239,  251, 
Boiling  Hall,  96. 
Bolton,  James,  260. 
Bolton,  Lancashire,  142. 
Books,  Cheap,  254. 
Books,  Demand  for,  229. 
Books,  Rare  and  Beautiful,  213. 
Booth,  Huddersfield  Luddite,  247. 
Booths,  William  of  the,  25. 
Boothtown,  129,  165,  220. 
Borough  :     Grant  of  incorporation 

refused,  165. 
Borough  Incorporation,  262. 
Borough,  Extension  of,  1864,  266. 
Boroughbridge,  229. 
Bottom,  Richard  of,  48. 
Boulsworth  Hill,  207. 
Boundaries    of    Parliamentary 

Borough  of  1832,  251. 
Bowling,  259. 
Bowling  Dyke,  240,  258. 
Boyes,  John,  47. 
Boyes,  Margaret,  86. 
Brackenbed,  153. 
Bradford,  72,  81,  82,  102,  136,  148- 

151,    161,    200,    201,    221,    225, 

231-2,     237,     239,     244,     253, 

Bradford  Church,  45. 
Bradford  Road,  Old,  36. 
Bradley,  Thomas,  200. 
Bradshaw,  160. 
Bradshaw,  Colonel.  154-6. 
Brandy  Hole,  Greetland,  232. 
Brearcliffe,  Edmund,  164. 
Brearcliffe,    John,    150,    152,    164- 

Brearcliffe  Manuscript,   108. 
Brearley,  15. 
Brearley  Hall,  170. 

Brereton  Hall,  40. 

Brick     Buildings     in     Eighteenth 

Century,  209. 
Bridges  and  Roads,  11,  85,  86,  186, 

226-32,  257. 
Brigg,  Abraham,   138. 
Briggs,  Henry,  1 09-1 11,  113. 
Briggs,  Rawdon,  252. 
Brighouse,  26,  96,  218,  224,  259. 
Brighouse  Bridge,  85. 
Brighouse,  Tourn  at,  40. 
Bright,  John,  257. 
"  Britannia,"  Camden's,  iii. 
Broadbent,  James,  191,  193-4. 
Broadbottom,  Mytholmro^^d,  125. 
Broadley,  Margaret,  86. 
Broadley,  Matthew,  163. 
Bronte,  Emily,  208,  272. 
Brook,  Bridget,  174. 
Brookfoot,  40. 

Brookhouse,  201,  240,  243,  258. 
Brookroyd,  19. 
Brooksbank,  Gilbert,  96. 
Brow  Lane,  56. 
Brown,  Sir  Thomas,  136,  137. 
Browning,  Mrs.,  "The  Cry   of  the 

Children  ",  241. 
Brunswick  Street  :  home  of  Shields, 

Buckstones,  23. 
Bull  Close  Lane,  193. 
Burke,  Edmund,  194. 
Burnley,  40,  71,  153,  159,  200,  227. 
Bury,    153. 

Caddy  Field,  261. 

Calder,  16,  39,  154,  222-3,  225. 

Calder  Valley,  42,  155-6,  197,  218, 

240,  259. 
Calder  Valley,  War  Map  of,  157. 
Calico  Hall  :    Clare  Hall,  236. 
Cambridge,  80,  174. 
Camden,  William,  in. 
Canals,  215-225. 
Canterbury  :    Tillotson  Archbishop 

of,  175- 
Carlyle,  Thomas,  162. 
Carr,  John,  of  York,  Architect,  210, 
Carriers,  231. 
Carter,  John,  Stock  List,  82,  83. 



Cartwright  of  Rawfold,  246. 

Cartwright,  Rev.  Edmund,  239. 

Castle  Hill,  Almondbury,  102. 

Cat  in  the  Window  Inn  :  Spring  in, 

Cawthorne,  42. 

Caygill,  John,  199. 

Chained  Book,  tio. 

Champvent.  Wilham  de,  35. 

Chapels  of  the  Parish,  84,  85. 

Chapeltown,  220. 

Charities,  134-6,  164,  265-6. 

Charles  I,  137-163. 

Charlestown,  Halifax,  16,  220. 

Charlestown,  Hebden  Bridge,  22c 

Chartists,  252-7. 

Chats  worth,  210. 

Cheapside,  Open  drain  in,  263-4. 

Child  Labour  in  Factories,  242-3. 

Christ's  Hospital   177. 

Church,  Gifts  to,  84. 

"  City,  The  "  :  Orange  Street  and 
Wheatley,  220. 

Civil  War,  Halifax  and,  137-163. 

Civil  Wars,  Halifax  escapes  fright- 
fulness  of,  II. 

Clapham,  Captain,  158. 

Clare  Hall,  211,  236. 

Claremount,  220. 

Clark  Bridge,  53. 

Clay,  John  of  Clay  House,  138. 

Clay  House,  Greetland,  123. 

Clay,  Robert,  Vicar  of  Halifax,  139. 

Clayton,  Thomas,  191. 

Clegg  Cliff,  56. 

Cliff e  Hill.  LightcUffe,  224. 

Cliff,  Thomas,  48. 

Clifford,  Lady  Anne  131,  133. 

Clitheroe,  71. 

Closes,  Origin  of  Term,  19. 

Clothes,  86. 

Cloth  Hall  at  Hall  End,  177. 

Cloth  Trade,  42-44,  79,  80,  112-113, 

Clothiers,  West  Riding.  185. 
Coaches,  Stage,  231-2. 
Coal  Mining,  79,  183,  184,  185.  224 
Coal  Pits,  Children  in,  242. 
Coat-of-Arms,  Halifax,  21,  33. 
Cobden,  Richard,  257. 

Cock  Fights,  174. 

Cock  Hill,  Plague  at,  160. 

Cockroft,  John,  196. 

Coiners,  Cragg  Vale,  189-197. 

Colbeck,  Samuel,  170. 

Colden,  154. 

Colet,  Dr.  John,  91. 

Coley,  84,  loi,  135,  140,  168,  172. 

Coley  Chapel,  84,  85,  142,  161. 

Coley  Hall,  28,  163. 

Colne,  151,  153,  159.  197,  200. 

Colne  Grammar  School,  174. 

Combing,  Hand,  203-5. 

Commons,  233,  267. 

Commonwealth  Window  in  Parish 

Church,  167. 
Cooper  Bridge,  259. 
Copley  Gate,  235,  248,  249. 
Copley  Hall,  86. 
Corn  Laws,  257. 
Corn  Market,  60,  206,  225. 
Corn  Marts,  223-4. 
Corn  Mills,  23,  78. 
"  Cottage  Library  ",  254. 
Cotton  Trade,  236. 
Court  Rolls,  26,  185. 
Cousin  Lane,  Illingworth,  235. 
Crabtree,  John,  86. 
Cragg  Vale,  155,  218. 
Craven,  204. 

Craven,  Spinning  in,  237. 
Crimsworth,  198. 
Cripplegate,  59. 
Crottonstall  (?),  21. 
Cromwell,  Oliver,  loo-i,  144,  161-2, 

Cromwell,  Thomas,  99. 
Cromwell  Bottom,  40,  41,  74. 
Croppers,  246. 

Crosland  Hall,  Huddersfield,  39,  40. 
Cross  Fields,  260. 
Cross  Inn,  174. 
Cross  Pipes,  Inn,  191. 
Cross-Stone,  Chapel,  84,  144. 
Cross,  the.  Old  Market,  197. 
Crossley,  Richard  of,  25. 
Crossleys,   Dean  Clough,   258,   259, 

Crossley  Terrace,  262. 
Crow  Hill,  Sowerby,  218. 



Crow  Nest,  Lightcliffe,  224. 

Crowther,  George,  100. 

Culling  worth,  200. 

"  Curse  of  Factory  System,"  254 

Cusworth,  John,  170. 

"  Cut  "  :    Canal,  222. 

Daisy  Bank,  Shibden,  59. 

Dark  Lane,   54. 

Dean,  John,  52. 

Dean  Clough  Mills,  258-9,  261. 

Deerplay,  Mill  Bank,  58. 

Defoe,  Daniel,  80,  178,  185,  188. 

Deniield  :     Dean  Field,  Wheatley, 

Deloney,  Thomas,  28. 
Denton  Hall,  210. 
Denton,  Richard,  140. 
Dewsbury,  Saxon  Parish  of,  32. 
Dighton,  William,  190-5,  206. 
Disendowment    of    Parish    Church, 

Dodge,  Dodge-holme,  208,  224. 
Dolphin  Holme,  Lancaster,  237. 
Domesday  Book,   local  entries  in, 

21,  22. 
Doncaster,  161. 
Door  Scraper,  262. 
Drake,  John  of  Horley  Green,  138. 
Drake,  Nathan,  of  Godley,  163, 
Drinking  Trough,  264. 
Dropping  Well,  263. 
Dublin,  Archbishop  of,  91. 
Duds  :    Cloth,  80. 
"  Duke  of  York  "  :    Isaac  Hartley, 

Coiner,  190-4. 
Dumb  Mill,  Hipperholme,  54. 
Dumb  Steeple,  Cooper  Bridge,  246. 
Dunbar,  Battle  of,  162. 
Dunkirk,  260. 
Dunsop  Bridge,  204. 
Durham,  96. 
Durker  Green,  170. 
Dyshbyndesherde,  76. 

East    Riddlesden    Hall,    Keighley, 

130,  133 
Eddy  stone  Lighthouse,  221. 
Eden,  Major,  158,  159. 
Edmondson,  Thomas,  237. 

Education,  266. 

"  Edwards  of  Halifax,"  211-15. 

Election,  Parliamentary,  1832,  251. 

Elizabeth,  Queen,  109. 

Elland,   15,   16,   17,   18,  22,  46,  48, 

52,  84,  118,  140,  165,  233,  256. 
Elland  Bridge,  86. 
Elland  Chapel,  37,  116, 
Elland  Feud,  38-42. 
Elland  Hall,  16,  41. 
Elland  Mill,  41. 

Elland  :    New  Hall,  42,  123,  124. 
Elland  Park  Wood,  16,  186. 
Elland,  Sir  John,  38-42. 
Elland  Wood  Bottotn,  256, 
Enclosure  Acts,  233-5,  267. 
Erringden,  17,  22. 
Ewood,  loi,  152,  198. 
Exley,  16,  256. 
Exley  of  Exley  Hall,  27,  38,  40. 

Factory  System,  241-3. 

Fair,  Halifax,  origin  of,  33. 

Fairs,  79,  80,  254. 

Fairfax,  142-159,  167. 

Fallingroyd  Bridge,  255. 

Farming,  18,  87,  207-8,  233. 

Farnley  Hall,  210. 

Farrar,  Captain,  147,  158-9. 

Farrar,  Henry,  80. 

Farrar  of  Ewood,  152,  165,  173. 

Favour,  Dr.  John,  105-7,  113,  140, 

Fawcett,  General,  186-188. 
Fielding,  John,  M.P.,  170,  244,  254. 
Field  House,  Shibden,  28. 
Field  House,  Sowerby,  211. 
Finchenden,  William  of,  45. 
Fines  and  Punishments,  45,  261. 
First  Bishop's  War,    Halifax  and, 

Five  Mile  Act,  173. 
Fixby,  17,  56. 

Ferrar,  Bishop  Robert,  101-2. 
Feslei  (Halifax),  21. 
Flamborough  Head,  105. 
Flanders,  81. 
Flemings,  42-4,  52. 
Flodden,  96. 
Fly  Flatts  Reservoir,  263. 



Fly  Shuttle,  Kay's,  238. 

Folds,  194. 

Fold,  the,  Mixenden,  124. 

Footpath,  Unlawful  stoppage  of,  25. 

Forbes,  Major,  144,  147-8. 

Foster,  John,  232,  233,  236. 

Foulmouth,  Roger,  25. 

Fourness,  Joseph,  Boothtown,  165, 

Franchise  of  1832,  251. 
Frauncays,  John,  47. 
Free  School  Lane,  107. 
Free  Trade,  257. 
Fuller,  Matilda,  26. 
Fuller,  Roger  the,  43. 
Fulling,  23,  52,  78. 
Fulneck,  198. 
Furness,  41. 
Furniture,  86. 

"  Garden  City  "  :    Akroydon,  261. 
Gardiner,  Professor,  141. 
Gaylington,  Thomas,  44. 
Geldhird,  William  the,  25. 
German  House,  Lightcliffe,  198. 
Gibbet  Lane,  260. 
Gibbet,  Last  Trial,  168-172. 
Gibbet  Law,  28,  29,  30,   159,   168- 

Gibson,  Isaac,  170. 
Gibson,  John,  47. 
Gibson  Mill,  219. 
Gibraltar,  260. 
Gifford,  Major-General,  147. 
Gilds,  79-80. 
Gillet,  John,  174. 
Gin  Horse  at  Shibden,  185. 
Gledcliff,  56. 
Gledhill,  John.  121. 
Gledhill,  Richard,  163. 
Gloucester,  82. 
"  Go  Ahead  ",  261. 
Godley,  163. 
Godley  Road,  229. 
Goldsmith,    Oliver   "  Deserted 

Village  ",  243-4. 
Gomersai,  148,  174. 
Good-greave,   177. 
Gordon,  Dr.  A.,  175, 
Gossling,  Police  Spy,  247. 

Grave,  John  the,  76. 
Greenwood,  25,  139. 
Greenwood,  Joseph,  255. 
Greenwood,  Michael,  238. 
Greetland,  22,  60,  63,  123,  232. 
Greetland  :    Toll  Bar,  225. 
Grey,  Earl,  252. 
Grimshaw  of  Haworth,  199. 
Grindall,  Archbishop,  103. 
Grindlestone  Bank,  Ovenden  Wood, 

78,  127,  138. 
Grove  Street,  261. 
Guest,  General,  186. 

Haigh,  George  of  Copley  Gate,  235, 

Haigh  House,  Warley,  129. 

Haley  Hill,  220,  256-7,  259,  261, 

Halifax  Brook,  16,  225. 

Halifax,  Capital  of  Cloth  Industrv, 

Halifax  :  Cleanest  of  Manufactur- 
ing Towns,  240. 

Halifax,  Lord,  252. 

Halifax  Moor,  158. 

Halifax,  Name  of,  iii. 

Halifax  Parish  and  Yorkshire,  Com- 
parison of  Shape,  9. 

Hall  End,  178. 

Hall  Ing.  76. 

Hallgate,  Cecilia,  26. 

Hamerton,  Philip  Gilbert,  208,  231, 

Hamilton,  Marquis  of,  161. 

Hampden,  John,  139 

Hardy,  William,  80. 

Hanging  in  Chains,  195. 

Hanson  Arms  :    Back  Hall,  120. 

Hanson,  Arthur,  Brighouse,  165. 

Hanson,  Gilbert,  96. 

Hailson,  John,  85. 

Hanson,  William,  47. 

Hardcastle  Crags,  13,  219-20. 

Harewood  House,  210. 

Hargreaves  of  Blackburn,  236. 

Harrison,  Major  General,  161. 

Harrod  Well  :    Highroad  Well,  227. 

Harrogate,  145,  229. 

Hartley,   166. 



Hartley,  David,  Coiner,  190-4. 

Hartley,  Isaac,  Coiner,  190-4. 

Hartley,  Samuel,  Luddite,  246, 

Hathershelf,  155. 

Haugh  End,  Sowerby,  174-5. 

Haugh  Shaw,  16,  266. 

Haugh  Shaw  House,  129, 

Hawksclough,  237. 

Haworth,    198. 

Haworth,  Roger  of,  25. 

Hazlehurst,  Shibden,  209. 

Heath  Grammar  School,  107-0,  113, 

164,  174.    . 
Heaton,  Henry  of,  48. 
Heaton,  Robert,  201. 
Hebble  Brook,  16,  224,  225. 
Hebden    Stream,    86,    154-5,    158, 

191,   198,  199,  217-8,  219,  220, 

227,  230,  232,  255. 
Heights  Road,  227. 
Hebden  Valley,  13,  14. 
Henry  VI.,  71. 
Henry  VIII.,  89-101. 
Henryson,  William,  48. 
Heptonstall,  15,  17,  48,  80,  84,  96, 

154  159,  189,  197,  200,  217-18. 
Heptonstall  Chapel,  37,  loi. 
Heptonstall  Garrison,  164. 
Heptonstall,  Manor  of,  32,  33. 
Hey  wood,  Lancashire,  153. 
Hey  wood,    Oliver,    121,    168,    172, 

Highroad  Well,  155,  193.  227. 
High  Road  Well  Moor,  16. 
High  royd  (Eroyd),  19. 
High  Sunderland,  56,  62,  6-1.,  65,  78, 

119,  120,  163. 
Hill,  Samuel,  179,-183,  188,  221. 
Hill  Population,  15. 
Hill  Top  :  Cragg,  196. 
Hills,  and  Road  Construction,  229. 
Hipperholme,  16,  17,  26,  27,  43,  46, 

54,  59,  85,   116,   136,   148,    163, 

185,  253. 
Hodgekins,    Halifax    Clothier,    28, 

Hodgson,  Captain  John,  142-163. 
Holdsworth  Chapel,  70,  74,  89,  95. 
Holdsworth  House,  28. 
Holdsworth  :    Surname,  81. 

Holdsworth,  John,  86. 

Holdsworth,  Vicar  Robert,  94-102. 

Holland,  200. 

Hollins,  The,  Warley,  129,  156. 

"  Holme,"  208. 

Holmes,  Mrs.,  198. 

Holroyd,  Joseph,  188. 

Holy  Face,  legend,  33. 

Holy  Hair,   iii. 

Holyhead,  228. 

Hoo  Hole,  196. 

Hope  Hall,  211. 

Hopwood  Hall,  209,  211. 

Hopwood  Lane,  260. 

Horley  Green,  56,  138. 

Horner,  John,  211,  238. 

Horsfall  of  Marsden.  246-7. 

Horsfall,  Lieutenant,  T44. 

Horton,  Joshua  of  Sowerby,  165. 

Horton  Street,  250. 

"  House  at  the  Maypole,"  59-60. 

Housing  :    Timber  Houses,  56-66. 

Hove  Edge  :    Spout  House,  186. 

Howroyd,  Barkis  and,  123. 

Huddersfield,  39    80,  177,  201,  246, 

Hull,  103,  138-9,  150,  221,  222,  224. 
Hunter  Hill,  158. 
Huntingdon,  Ear]  of,  105. 

Illingworth,  15,  27.  84,  87,  135. 
Illingworth  Chapel,  167. 
Illingworth  Edge,  87,  88. 
Illingworth,  Moor.  235. 
Industrial  Revolution,  215-220. 
Inn  Yards  :    Coaching.  231. 
Inventions,  Great,  236-40. 
Ireland,  89,  224. 
Irish  Massacre  of  1641.  141. 
Isle  of  Wight.  232. 

Jackroyd,  19. 
Jackson,  John,  47. 
Jacobites,  186. 
Jagger,  191. 

Jumble  Hole  Clough,  220. 
Jumples  Beck,  224. 
Jumples  Mill,  88,  239. 

Kay's  Fly  Shuttle,  238. 



Keelham,  196. 

Keighley,  130,  133,  159,  200,  259. 

Keighley  Road,  229. 

Kent,  177. 

Kershaw  House,   Luddenden,    118, 

119,  130. 
Kershaw's  Power  Looms,  239,  251. 
Kildwick,  200. 
King  Cross,  153,  158. 
King  Cross  Lane,  209,  260. 
"  King  David  "  :     David  Hartley, 

Coiner,  190-4 
King,  John,  vicar,  68. 
King,  William,  of  Skircoat,  106. 
Kingsley,  Charles,  266. 
Kirkburton,  26. 
Kirklees,  224. 

Kirk  Sandal,  Doncaster,  64,  89. 
Knaresborough,  161. 
Knight,  Titus,  199,  242. 
Knights  of  St.  John  of  Jerusalem, 

27,  42. 
Knowl  Top,  Lightcliffe,  209. 

Labourers,  Statute  of,  45. 

Lacy,  John,  22,  30,  46,  73,  98-99, 

Lacy,  Thomas,  38,  39,  40,  41,  42. 

Lake  Country,  185. 

Lake,  John.   168. 

Lancashire,  71,  142,  186.  222,  227, 

229,  255. 
Lancaster,  196,  204. 
Lancaster,  Earl  of,  38. 
Lane  Head,  Brighouse,  40. 
Lanehead,  Ogden,  201,  240. 
Langdale,  Sir  Marmaduke,  163. 
Langfield,  17,  21. 
Langfield,  Henry,  46. 
Langfield,  Thomas  of,  25, 
Latham  of  Coley,  142. 
Learoyd,  Richard,  106. 
Lee  Bank,  27,  85,  260,  261. 
Lee,  Job,  258. 
Leeds,  80,  81,  103,  138,  139,  141- 

151,    177-8,    200-1,    221,    227, 

229,  231-2,  240,  247. 
Leeds  Railway,  259. 
Lee  House,  Ovenden  Wood,  115. 
Lewes,  Monks  from,  37,  55. 
Lewes,  Prior  of,  44,  76,  94. 

Lewes,  Priory  of,  32,  34,  35,  89,  99, 

Leyland,  F.  A.,  240. 
Leyland,  Halifax  Sculptor,  102. 
Libraries,  211-15,  266. 
Library,  "  Public,"  at  Parish  Churchy 

III,  166. 
Lightcliffe,  loi,  198,  209. 
Lightcliffe  Church,  224. 
Lilly  Bridge,  209. 
Limed  House,  Shibden,  238. 
Limers  Gates,  208. 
Lincolnshire,.  Rebellion  in,  97. 
Linen  Hall,  177. 
Lister,  78,  138,  186. 
Lister,  Bartholomew,  53. 
Lister,  Jeremy,  185. 
Lister,  John,  19,  30,  32,  38,  59,  80, 

82,  102,  188. 
Lister,  John,  of  Upper  Brear,  165. 
Lister,  Joseph,  141,  15 1-2. 
Lister  Lane,  262. 
Lister,    Miss.,    153,    224,    239,    240, 

Lister,  Richard,  48. 
Lister,  Robert,  48. 
Lister,  William,  87,  88. 
Lister  Road,  229. 
Literature,  Cheap  :  William  Milner, 

Liverpool,  231. 

Liversedge,  Cavalry  from,  247. 
Lockwood  of  Lockwood,  39,  40,  41, 

Logarithms,  "  Briggian,"  no. 
London,  55,  79,  200,  228,  231,  232. 
Long  Can,  Ovenden  Wood,  119,  129, 

Long  Causeway,  155,  159,  227. 
Looms,  Power.  238-9. 
Lord  Nelson  Inn,  Luddenden,  138. 
Lowe,  Robert  of,  26. 
Luddenden,  118,  138,  155,  158,  218. 
Luddenden  Chapel,  85,  134,  167. 
Luddenden  Bridge,  86. 
Luddenden  Dean,  13,  127,  155,  170. 
Luddenden  Foot,  109,  218,  227,  228. 
"  Ludd,  General,"  245-9. 
Luddites,  245-9. 
I-umb  Beck,  218. 



Lumb  Falls,  226. 

Macadam,  228. 
McDonald,  Police  Spy,  247. 
Maceroni  on  Pike  Warfare,  253. 
Machinery  in  Textile  Trades,  "217. 
Machinery,  Objections  to,  236. 
Machinery  Riots,  251. 
Machon-House,  76. 
Mackworth,  Sir  Francis,  152-g. 
Magna  Via,  155. 

Making  Place,  179-180,  211,  221. 
Malt    Shovel    Inn,    Mytholmroyd, 

Manchester,  142,  153,  231-2,  -^47-8 
Manchester  and  Leeds  Railway, 

Manchester  Massacre,  250. 
Mankinholes,  25,  66. 
Manor  Courts,  23,  26. 
Market,  Halifax,  174. 
Marsh,  Dr.,  Vicar,  167. 
Marsh  Hall,  Northowram,  124. 
Mary,  Princess,  Baptism  of,  90. 
Marstpn  Moor,  159. 
Meadowcroft,  Dorothy,  152. 
Mellor,  George,  Luddite,  246,  249. 
Merchant  Adventurers,  60,  79. 
Metcalfe,    John  :      "  Blind    jack," 

Midgley,  15,  17,  21,  52,  85,  155,  193, 

197,  227. 
Midgley,  William  of,  25. 
Mildmay,  Captain,  147. 
Militia  Ballot,  188. 
Milk  Trade,  235. 
Mill  Bank,  58. 
Mill  Chimneys,  82. 
Mill  near  Blackshaw  Head,  219. 
Mills,  Early  Halifax.  83,  84. 
Milner,  Hugh,  John,  etc.,  47,  48. 
Milner,  Robert  the,  78. 
Milner,  William,  Publisher,  254. 
Milnes,  Charles,  Luddite,  248. 
Mirfield,  William  of,  45. 
Mitchell,   Anthony,    Sowerby,    168, 

Mitchell,   Matthew  and    Jonathan, 

Mixenden,  158,  229,  239. 

Mixenden  Beck,  224. 

Mixenden  :    the  Fold,  124. 

Mixenden  Green,  138. 

Monasteries  Closed,  99. 

Money,  Weighing,  189. 

Moot  Hall,  23,  73,  76. 

Moor  End,  159. 

Mottoes  on  Old  Homes,  121. 

Mount  Pleasant,  261. 

Mount  Skip,  155. 

Mount  Zion,  Ogden,  199. 

Mulcture  Hall,  124,  160. 

Municipal  Government,  265. 

Murgatroyd,  19. 

Murgatroyd,  James,  129-133,  138, 
139,  156. 

Museum,  British  :  Edwards'  Bind- 
ings, 215. 

Museums,  266. 

Myleas  Place,  76. 

Mytholm,  185,  208, 

Mytholmroyd,  15,  52,  125,  152,  191, 
193.  195.  207,  209,  217,  227. 

Names,  Place,  19,  76,  220. 
Names  :    Surnames,  43-50. 
Napier,  General  Charles,  253. 
Napoleon,  Peace  with,  203. 
Naseby,  Battle  of,  160. 
Navy,  Halifax  objects  to  support, 

Navy:    Hawke  and  Rodney,  221. 
Nether  Field,  17. 
New  Bridge,  219. 
New  England,  Puritans  and,  140. 
New  Hall,  Elland,  118,  123,  124. 
New-House,  76. 
Newlands,  155. 
Newlands  Gate,  193. 
New  Town,  220,  251. 
Nicholl,  Robertson,  254. 
Norfolk,  Duke  of,  91. 
Norland,  15,  17,  27,  85,  127,  217-8. 
Norland  Hall,  62,  63,  66,  78,   118, 

Norland,  John  of,  45,  80. 
Norland  Lower  Hall,  124. 
Normanton,  259. 
Normanton,  Matthew,  193-5. 



North  Bridge,  53,  78,  220,  260. 

North  Dean,  250. 

"  Northern  Star,"  254. 

North  Field,  17. 

Northgate,  256,  258. 

Northgate  End  Chapel,  260. 

Northgate  Hotel  Yard,  231. 

Northowram,  13,  16,  17,  48,  85,  184, 

Northowram  :    Marsh  Hall,  124. 
Norwich,  137. 
Nottingham,  141,  245. 

Oaksroyd,  209. 

Oastler,  Richard,  244. 

O'Connor,  Fergus,  253,  254. 

Octagon  Tower,  268. 

Oddy,  H.  R.,  60,  73. 

Ogden,  56,  184,  199,  225,  240. 

Ogden  Brook,  224-5. 

Ogden  Reservoir,  239,  263. 

Old  Bank,  53,  148,  160. 

Old  Cock  Inn,  123,  191. 

Old  Cock  Yard,  231. 

Old  Crispin  Inn,  245. 

Old  Earth,  42. 

Oldfield,  139. 

Oldfield,  James,  194. 

Old  Lane,  240,  258. 

Old  Lane  Mill,  240. 

Old  Market,  60,  98. 

Old  St.  Paul's,  London,  134. 

Open  Fields,  17,  76,  233,  234. 

Orange  Street,  220. 

Orphanage,  265. 

Otes  of  Holdsworth,  48. 

Otes,  Robert,  76. 

Oteson,  John,  47. 

Ouram  Hall,  Shibden,  78. 

Ovenden,  16,  17,  27,  85,  87,  88,  129, 

160,  200,  229,  234. 
Ovenden  Hall,  116,  177. 
Ovenden,  Mill  near,  238. 
Ovenden  Railway,  259. 
Ovenden,  Ralph  of,  26. 
Ovenden,  Richard  oi,  44. 
Ovenden  Wood,  78,  115,  127,  129- 

132,  158,  224. 
Ovenden  Wood  Brook,  87, 
Over  Nabroyd,  63. 

Pack  Horses,  53,  54,  86,  177,  178, 
185,  204,  207,  208,  215.  223. 

Pack  Saddle  and  Pillion,  228. 

"  Painter's  Camp,"  270. 

Parish  Children  in  Factories,  243. 

Parish  Church,  31,  32,  33,  38,  42, 
53.  55.  59,  66-78,  89-102,  104, 
105,  III,  113,  116.  135,  153, 
160,  165-168,  174,  207,  245, 
260,  263. 

Parish  of  Halifax,  15,  56,  113. 

"  Park,  The,"  261. 

Park,  People's,  265,  271. 

Park  Street,  261. 

Parliament,  First  Member  of,  165. 

Parliamentary    Borough    of    1832, 

Patchett,  Gregory,  138. 
Peck,  Richard,  78. 
Peel  House,  Warley,  125. 
Peep  Green,  Hartshead,  253. 
Pellon  Lane,  260. 
Pellon  Lane  Chapel,  207,  220. 
Pendle,  200. 
Penrith,  161. 
People's  Charter,  252. 
Persecution,  Religious,  105. 
Peterloo,  250-1. 
Petticoat  Lane,  168. 
Piece  Hall,  199-204. 
Pilgrimage  of  Grace,  97. 
"  Pilgrimage  of  Mercy,"  244. 
Pilkington,  Bishop,  103. 
Pillion,  228. 
Pineapple  Hotel,  209. 
Pious  Uses  Commission,  164. 
Place  Names  :   See  under  Names. 
Plague  in  Halifax,  160. 
Plug  Riots,  254-7. 
Plymouth,  221. 
Pollard,  Mr.,  201. 
Poll  Tax,  1379,  46,  47,  53. 
Ponden,  Stanbury,  201. 
Pontefract,  38,  96. 
Pontefract  Castle,  22,  163. 
Pontefract,  Honour  of,  22. 
Portinari,  Giovanni,  100. 
Portsmouth,  138. 
Postage  in  1820,  232. 



Post  Office  :   Mail  Coaches,  232. 
Post  Office  Savings  Bank,  266. 
Poundal],  Major,  161. 
Preachers,    Weslevan     and    other, 

Presbyterians,   140. 
Preston  Battle,  161. 
Priestley,  John,  173. 
Priestley,    Joseph,    152,    154,    158, 

Ptiestley,  Luke,  232. 
Priestley,  Samuel,  143. 
Priestley,  Tom,  177,  182. 
Princess  Street,  224. 
Printing  Press,  224. 
Pudsey,  141. 
Punishments,  26. 
Puritans,  103,  139,  164,  167-168. 
Pye  Nest,  210, 

Quarmby  Hall,  39. 

Quarmby,  Hugh  of,  39,  40,  41,  42. 

Queensbury,  56,  227,  253,  259. 

Railways,  259-60. 

Ramsden,    Robert   of   Stoneyroyd, 

Range  Bank,  56,  227. 
Rastrick,  Henry  of,  48. 
Rastrick,    15,    16,    17,   43,   84,    loi, 

135.  218. 
Rawfold  Mill,  Attack  on,  247,  249. 
Records  Office,  Public,  80. 
Recreation  Ground  :     Savile  Park, 

Rectors,  34,  35. 
Reform  Act,  251. 
Reformers  :    Peterloo,  250. 
"  Religio  Medici,"  136. 
Religious  Bequests,  84. 
Rendurer  Place,  76. 
Rentals  in  Halifax,  78. 
Reservoirs,  263. 
"  Revenge  upon  Revenge  "  :  lilland 

Feud,  38. 
Revey  Beacon,  102. 
Riding,  73. 
Riding,  William,  96. 
Richard,  Duke  of  York,  71. 
Richard  the  Nailer,  185. 

Rmgby,  115. 

Riot  Act  Read,  256. 

Riots,  250-1. 

Riots,  Plug,  254-7. 

Ripon,  81,  161. 

Ripponden,  168,  229. 

Rishworth,   17. 

Rishworth  Family,  120. 

Rising  in  the  North,  103. 

Road,  Great,  to  and  from  Halifax. 

Roads,  53,  54,  85,  215-232. 
Roads,  Repair  of,  136. 
"  Robinson  Crusoe,"  178. 
Rochdale,  141,  142,  152.  154 
Rochdale  Canal,  222. 
Rochdale  Road,  227. 
Rockingham,  Marquis  of,  .194 
Rodeman,  William,  99. 
Roebucks,  Warley,  22. 
Roger  the  Fuller,  43. 
Roils  Head,  153. 
Rokeby,  Archbishop,  89-102. 
Rokeby,  Archbishop  W.,  Arms  of, 

Rokeby  Chapel,  90,  93. 
Roote,  Henry,  153,  168,  172. 
Roote,  Timothy,  172. 
Rose  and  Crown  Inn,  178. 
Roses,  Wars  of  the,  71,  73. 
Royds,  John,  194. 
Royd's  House,  George  Street,  210. 
Rufford  Abbey,  267. 
Rushton,  Ben,  255. 
Russell  Street,  168. 
Russia,  224. 
Ryburn,  218. 

St.  Bartholomew's  Fair,  80,  82. 

St.  Crispin  Inn,  245-8. 

St.  John,  Order  of,  27. 

St.   Joseph's  School,   Southowram. 

Sanitation,  Lack  of    prior  to  1848, 

Sakeldene,  25. 
Salterhebble,  222,  256. 
Salterhebble  Brook,  225. 
Saltonstall,  13,  48. 
Saltonstall,  William  of,  25. 



Sandal  Parish,  71,  170. 

Sand  Hall,  Highroad  Well,  196. 

Savile,  Henry,  87,  96,  98,  109-111. 

Savile,  Captain  Henry,  267. 

Savile,  John,  46. 

Savile,  Sir  John,  145. 

Savile,  Jonathan,  242. 

Savile,  Sir  William,  143,  158. 

Savile  Badge,  97. 

Savile  Close,  193. 

Savile  Park,  265,  267. 

Saviles,  42,  loi. 

Scenery,  230-1,  233,  270. 

Scholefield,  Jonathan,   144. 

Scott,  Sir  Gilbert,  266. 

Scout  Hall,  121. 

Seedlings  Mount  :    Sydell-ing,  17 

Selby,  142. 

Sentry  Edge,  153,  158. 

Services  charged  to  Rent,  27. 

Settle,  204. 

Settlers,  Early,  13. 

Shackleton,  48. 

Shakehand  Brig,  85. 

Sharpe,  Mr.,  151. 

Shaw  Booth,  169-70. 

Shaw  Hill,  107,  119,  256. 

Shaw  Lodge  Mills,  260. 

Shaw  Syke,  16,  237,  259,  266. 

Shay,  The,  78,  199. 

"  Shears,  The,"  237. 

Shelf,  17,  45,  84,  85. 

Shepherd,  John  and  Alice,  49. 

Shepherd,  Thomas,  24. 

Shibden,  49,  56,  78,  127,  153,  184, 

209,  238. 
Shibden  Beck,  16. 
Shibden  Coal  pits,  185,  199,  242. 
Shibden  Fold,  56. 
Shibden  Hall,  16,  56,  59-61,  78,  100, 

126,  138,  152,  186,  208. 
Shibden  Industrial  School,  229. 
Shields,  Frederic,  270-1. 
Ship  Money,  137-9. 
Siddal,  38,  119-121. 
Siddal  Hall,  184. 
Simm  Carr,  184. 
Skipton,  161,  200. 
Skipton  Castle,  131, 
Skircoat,  16,  17,  85,  107,  218. 

Skircoat  Freeholders,  265-7. 
Skircoat  Green,  250,  253. 
Skircoat  Moor,  234,  256,  266-7. 
Skylderyforth,  76. 
Slaughter  Gap,  159. 
Smeaton,  Engineer,  221. 
Smith  House,  I.ightcliffe,   199. 
Smithson,  John,  47. 
Smithy  Stake,  136. 
Soil  Hill,  56,  184,  186,  235. 
Somerset  House,  George  Street,  194. 
Sour  Milk  Hall,  242. 
Southampton,  105. 
South  Field,  76. 
Southgate,  17,  154,  225.* 
Southowram,  16,   17,' 22,  102,  115, 

136,  140,  184,  237,  252. 
Southowram  Bank,  251,  261. 
South  Parade,  209. 
South  Street  :     Architecture,  209- 

Sowerby,  15,  17,  21,  25,  46,  48,  80, 

84,  85,  loi,  125,  127,  128,  140, 

155,  158,  161,  165,  168,  174-6, 

200,  217-9,  220,  228. 
Sowerby  Bridge,  86,  135,  153,  158, 

160,  172,  189,  217-222,  259. 
Sowerby  Chapel,   167. 
vSowerby  Constables,  Account  Book 

of,  140. 
Sowerby  shire,  55. 
Soyland,  15,  17,  143,  152,  158,  J79- 

183,  200.  211,  229. 
Spencer,  Thomas,  26,  193,  193. 
Spen  Valley,  246. 
Spice  Cake  Lane,  209. 
Spinning,  50,  203-5,  236. 
Spring  Gardens,  115. 
Spring  Hall  Lane,  236. 
Square,  209. 
Square  Chapel,  199,  207,  209,  242 

Stainland,  17,  233. 
Stanbury,  201. 
Stancliffe,  Richard,  85. 
Stanford,  John  of,  45. 
Stannary,  260. 
Stannery  End,  191,  193,  207. 
Stansfield,  17,  21,  25,  84,  200. 
Stansfield,  Thomas,  80. 



Steam  Engine,  239-40. 

Stephenson,  Hugh,  52. 

Stiperden,  159. 

Stockdale,  Thomas,  145-6,   149c 

Stone  Dam  Mill,  78. 

Stoneshey  Gate,  197. 

Stoney  Royd,  16,  19,  165,  209,  212. 

Stott,  Engraver,  270. 

Street  Names,  261. 

Stuart  Rebellion,  186-188. 

Stump  Cross  :    Toll  Bar,  225. 

Sturbridge  Fair,  Cambridge,  80. 

Styhog,  John,  25. 

Suffolk,  177. 

Suffolk,  Duke  of,  91. 

Sugden,  141. 

Sunderland,  48,  120. 

Sunderland,  High  :  See  under  High. 

Sunderland,  Langdale,  163. 

Sunderland,  Richard  of  High,  52. 

Sunny  Bank,  Greetland,  60,  63. 

Surnames  :    See  Names. 

Surrey,  Earl  of  :  William  of  Warren, 

Sutcliffe,  Gamwel,  189. 
Sutton-in-Craven,  200. 
Swales  Moor,  56,  221,  224,  227. 
'Swendall,  237. 
Swerd,  Peter,  25,  66. 
Swine  Market,  270. 
Swires  Road,  193. 

Tadcaster,  142,  150. 

Talbot  Inn,  194,  221. 

Talbot,  Major,  148. 

Talbots,  71. 

Talvace,  John,  34. 

Taxes,  26,  46,  137-9- 

Taylor,  Captain,  156. 

Taylor,  Dan,  242. 

Telford,  228. 

Tempest,  Sir  Richard,  96,  98-99. 

Tempest  Badge,  97. 

Ten  Hours  Bill,  244. 

Theft  :     Punishment  under  Gibbet 

Law,  28. 
Thomas,  Robert,  193-5. 
Thomas,  William,  204. 
Thompson,  Fiddler,  242. 
Thompson,  Mr.,  159. 

Thornhill,  96,  98. 

Thornhill  of  Fixby  Hall,  244. 

Thornton,  William,  253. 

Thursden,  207. 

Tilley-holme,  20S. 

Tillotson,  Archbishop  John,  174-6. 

Tillotson,  John  :  Luddite,  248,  249. 

Tillotson,  Robert,  174. 

Timber  Houses,  57. 

Tinker,  Richard  the,  25. 

Tithes,  33,  100. 

Todmorden,  197,  227,  228,  230,  244. 

Toll  Bar  Houses  and  Tolls,  225-7, 

Token,  Tradesman's,  178. 
"  Top  o'  th'  Town,"  17. 
"  Top-o'  t'  Town  Chapel,"  260. 
Tossit,  204. 

"  Tour  through  Great  Britain,"  178. 
Tournay,  96. 

Tourn  (Criminal  Court),  24. 
Tower,  Octagon,  268. 
Town  Council,  265. 
Town,  Growth  of,  260-3. 
Town  Gates,  17. 
Townley,  40. 

Townships,  Boundaries  of,  16,  17. 
Trade,  Foreign  :  Sam  Hill,  179-183. 
Trade,  Growth  of,  78. 
Trade,  Local,  112. 
Trade  :    See  under  Wool,  Worsted, 

Cloth,  etc. 
Trafalgar,  260. 
Transport,  2 1 5-32. 
Triangle,  229,  250. 
Trooper  Lane,  160. 
Tuel  Lane,  228. 
Turbard,  Ingelard,  35. 
Turner,  J.  M.  W.,  213. 
Turnpike  Roads,  226-32,  257 
Twining,  Thomas,  233. 

Ulnager's  Accounts,  80,  81. 

Uniformity,  Act  of,  172. 

Union  Cross  Yard,  231. 

Upper   and   Lower   George   Yards. 

Upper  Brear,  56,  165. 
Upper  Rookes,  124. 
Upper  Saltonstall,  124. 



Upper  Siddal  Hall  :  Coal  Mine,  183. 
Upper  Willow  Hall,  129,  130. 

Victoria  Reservoir,  263. 

View  of  Halifax,  17th  Century,  145. 

Volunteers,  25  t,  266. 

Wade,  General,  186-188. 

Wadsworth,  15,  17,  21,  208,  233. 

Wadsworth,  Adam  of,  25. 

Wadsworth  Lanes,  155. 

Wages,  Regulation  of,  45. 

Wainhouse,  J.  E.,  267. 

"  Wainhouse's  Folly,"  268. 

Wainhouse  Terrace,  268-9. 

Wainsgate,  199. 

Wakefield,  26,  27,  53,  55,  80,  81,  96, 

103,  136,  140,  142-145,  155,  170, 

178,  224,  228,  231-2. 
Wakefield,  Battle  of,  71. 
Wakefield  Court  Roll,   30,   35,   38, 

43.  45- 
Wakefield,  Manor  of,  21,  32,  33,  185. 
Wakefield  Prison,  256.  , 

Wales,  Mr.,  141. 
Walker,  52. 

Walker  of  Walterclough,  237. 
Walker,  William,  224. 
Wallis,  28. 

Walpole,  Henry,   105. 
Walshaw  Dean  Reservoir,  263. 
Walters,  Hubert,  34. 
Waltroyd,  19,  87,  204-8. 
Wards  End,  209,  225,  251. 
Warley,  16,  17,  21,  25,  49,  85,  127, 

129,  138,  153,  155,  156,  188,  200, 

Warley,  Nicholas  of,  25. 
Warley  Wood,  109. 
Warren,  Earls  of,  26,  27,  28,  30,  32, 

34.  38,  39,  55.  89. 
Warren,   John  of,   Earl  of  Surrey, 

13,  20,  22,  23,  24. 
Warren  Shield,  .21. 
Washer  Lane  Dyeworks,  268. 
Waterhouse,    139. 
Waterhouse,  Mistress  Dorothy,  166. 
Waterhouse,  Gilbert,   100. 
Waterhouse,   John,  72,  86. 

Waterhouse,    Nathaniel,     134-136, 

Waterhouse,  Robert,  99,  100. 
Waterside,  209. 
Water  Supply,  263. 
Water  Wheel  :    Simm  Carr,  1 84 . 
Water-wheels,  219,  237. 
Watson,  178,  209-10,  230,  235. 
Weaving,  Hand,  50,  203-5. 
Webster,  51-52. 
Webster,  Thomas.  43. 
Well  Head,  78,  165.  ^ 
Wentworth,  Lieutenant  Colonel,  153. 
Wentworth  Woodhouse,  194,  2 to. 
Wesley,  John,  196-199,  233. 
Wesleyan  Revival,  242. 
Westgate,  262. 
West  Hill  Park,  261. 
Westminster  Abbey,  Wolsey  at,  89. 
Westm  oreland ,   71. 
West  wood,  Avicia,  Wife  of  Thomas 

of,  25. 
Wetherby,  231. 
Wharf e,  222. 

Wharf  Street,  Sowerby  Bridge,  222. 
Whatmough,  Robert,  token  of,  178. 
Wheatley,   17,  85,   87,   204-7,   220, 

229,  239. 
Whipping-stock,  134. 
Whitaker,    Richard,    of    Skircoat, 

White-House,  76. 
White  Swan  Inn,  231-2. 
White  Windows,  210. 
Whittaker,  Dr.,  220. 
Whittaker,  Dr.  :   Prophecy  on  Coal, 

Whittle  Lane  End,  42. 
Widdop,  155,  197,  231,  263,  270. 
Wigglesworth,  204. 
Williamson,    Abraham    and    John, 

168,  170. 
Williamson,  John,  153. 
Wilkinson,  Vicar,  60,  71-72,  83. 
Willebv,  John,  and  Chantry  Chapel, 

Willow  Hall,  129. 
Willow  Hall,  Lower,  131. 
Willow  Hall,  Upper,  129,  130. 
Willroyd,  19. 



Wilson,  Benj.,  250,  257. 

Wilson,  Robert,  189. 

Wiscombe  Bank,  148. 

Wolf  stones,  23. 

Wolsey,  Cardinal,  89-92. 

Wood,  Charles,  252. 

Wood  Lane  Hall,  Sowerby,  116,  125. 

Wood,  Richard,  87. 

Woolcombing,  199-207. 

"  Wool  Driving,"  112. 

Woollen  Trade,  49,  78-88,  1 12-13, 

Woolshops,  63. 

Workhouse,  Governors  of,  164. 
Workhous*,  Waterhouse's,   13^. 

Working  Men's  College,  266. 
Worsted     Manufacture,      179-183, 

236,  258. 
Wortley,  James  Stuart,  252. 
Wrigley  Hill,  235. 
Wroe,  John,  47. 
"  Wuthering  Heights,"  208. 
WycoUar,   207-8. 

Yew  Tree,  130-132. 

York,  25,  34,  43,  55,  82,  105.  144, 

168,  173,  185,  193,  206,  223,  231, 

239,  244. 
York  Castle,  191. 
Yorkshire  Penny  Bank,  266. 

14  DAY  USE 



This  book  is  due  on  the  last  date  stamped  below,  or 

oo  the  date  to  which  renewed. 

Renewed  books  are  subject  to  immediate  recall. 


f^'^rro  L.O 

fV'OV  10  ©59 




LD  21A-50m-4,'59 

General  Library     . 
University  of  California 

Seb  Pages  1516  and  84-85. 




Old  Chapels  marked  *t 

N8HIP  IS  NOT  Bounded  by  a  Stream,  the  Dotted  Line  denotes  the  Boundary.